07 December, 2007

Darkness Gone?

New Memorial Design, USS Oklahoma

USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor

The author William Manchester wrote a cracking good book, his personal memoir of his USMC service in the Pacific, Goodbye Darkness, a Memoir of the Pacific War, 1980. If you're after a dynamic read about the Pacific Theater battles of WWII, this is your best choice. He skillfully weaves himself throughout all of the island campaigns, even though his participation was limited to three of the island battles. A great idea by a great author and an even greater military man, having earned the Navy Cross. (The Navy Cross medal was designed by James Fraser, who sculpted The End of the Trail, as well)

Today we remember during Pearl Harbor Day the treacherous attack by Japan on the US fleet in Hawaii back in 1941. That may seem like an eternity ago for my younger readers, but consider that our veterans of this battle still walk among us. I can't miss them because they stand about twelve foot tall (in my mind's eye). And those are the clerk typists and dining room orderlies. The guys with combat jobs stand even taller. You might take a little time today to consider the painful and sacrificial toil of that Greatest Generation.

On the art front, the design for a new memorial has been made. I gather that Kevin King is the designer. The battleship USS Oklahoma was sunk in that Dec. 7th battle, along with the better known USS Arizona and several other capitol warships. Here's my congratulations for this memorial to the veterans of that infamous day and that courageous ship. Their strife is honored by many today.

Bloggers on Pearl Harbor Day.


jafabrit said...

I visited Pearl Harbour a few years ago and it was a humbling experience and very educational. I learned a few things I had not realized, such as how quickly the ships sank, or why it did not occur to anyone they could have been attacked.

Casey Klahn said...

I once listened to a speech on survival by a fellow who had been there, in the Navy, and it was riveting.
We forget that the march of mechanized warfare reached it's zenith in the forties, but mankind still couldn't grasp easily the breadth of that experience. Surprised? Yes, in more ways than one. The Pacific was a bigger ocean then than it is now.

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