I was only one year old that Sunday morning when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt was forced to send America’s Greatest Generation into World War II.
Churchill was with the President’s special envoy, Averell Harriman, and the U.S. Ambassador to Britain, John Gilbert Winant, when he received the news over the telephone from President Roosevelt. To Churchill, this meant one thing above all: victory. Britain was no longer alone. Finally, the US was in the war and Churchill wrote later, “I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.”
As a member of the Society of 40 Men and 8 Horses (40 & 8) founded after WW I as a charitable and patriotic “Honor Society of American Veterans,” I have met several of those who served America during the Pearl Harbor attack and after and are/were members of the 40 & 8.
Darrell was aboard the USS Vestal that was tied up to the USS Arizona to do repair work Dec. 7, 1941, shipmates of the USS South Dakota BB 57 Waldron, Donovan, Leon, Richard who came and spoke at the 2019 ship reunion in Sioux Falls, Marion who was a Prisoner of War (POW) for seven months, Harold Reinschmidt who rode in a Forty & Eight Box car for two days out of South Hampton, Delbert from my hometown of Hayti, Keith in U. S. 14th Calvary called up in January 1941 for one year but ended up fighting at Iwo Jima and my Uncle Russell who flew 3 flights as a tail and was happy to be assigned permanent cooking duty.
Yes, we are sad that many of our comrades have been called to their heavenly home by our Supreme Commander, but we are grateful for knowing them and, for some, the opportunity to serve with them. We would ask all Americans to pause at 0800 Saturday, Dec. 7, and say a prayer to yourself for all our WW II veterans and include all our active serving members.
1,177 sailors fought in WW 11 Aboard the USS Arizona for less than a half hour.