Pearl Harbor and Dumb Kids

December 7, 2012

Today is December 7th, the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entrance on the U.S. into World War Two. There are not many alive who still remember that event. It has been replaced by other more recent events, 911 for one. I suppose we can argue on whether that is good or not, whether we should hold on to the past or not, but as it has been said “Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it.” As one who considers myself to be a conservative, I certainly feel we need to remember the past because if we do not we will repeat it. We also need  to remember what our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and fore fathers did to make this country what it is today. They fought the battles to keep us free, they fought the battles to give us what we are today, they fought the battles which made us the greatest nation on earth.

USS Hawkins

There are many who think that we are slowly sinking. I am one. I believe our current president is against every thing which our forefathers fought for, capitalism free enterprise, the rule of law, personal freedom, religious freedom, and this angers me to no end.

I am going to relate a personal story about my dad if you’ll indulge me. My father enlisted in the Navy when he graduated from High School in 944. He was what they call a “plank owner” on a destroyer called the U.S.S. Hawkins. After a shakedown cruise and a voyage to Pearl Harbor, his ship was to be part of a convoy across the Pacific and while they never really new their destination at the time, they new it was something big. They were headed to Okinawa, where the navy, especially destroyers, suffered heavy losses from kamikazes.

Shortly after leaving Pearl Harbor, there was a fire on the ship, I don’t recall where my dad told me it was, but they had to turn back to Pearl, even though the Captain didn’t want to. Flash forward to 1999. My dad never wanted to attend any reunions of the crew, even though my mother always wanted her to. After she passed, my dad asked me if I would like to drive him to Gettysburg to meet with two of his shipmates, who he hadn’t seen for over fifty years. Of course I would was the only answer. To make a long blog post short, I asked about the fire and which one of them started it, which, no, tit wasn’t set, but it did bring some laughs. it then became serious and one of them said this, something I will never forget:

“We were just dumb kids, and looking back now it was probably a good thing we did turn back even though we were pissed because none of us might might not be here right now. But you know what? We would have gone, and would do it again.”

They were “dumb kids” but they would do it all again. That should say something to each and every one of us. And more importantly I wonder if we would do it again? I wonder if those “dumb kids”  will be there when we need them? Will today’s “dumb kids” be there when our freedom is threatened whether from inside or outside the country?

I would like to think so but I seriously wonder.

Copyright 2012 Paul Roy Jr.



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