Seeing as today is the anniversary of the Pear Harbor attacks in 1941, I had to write this to make us put things we are afraid of in perspective. Sure we fear Radical Islam and wackjobs with guns but I want you to think what it would have been like on that Hawaiian Sunday those 74 years ago. Just imagine it. You are a lowly shipman on the USS Arizona, waking up to the cool tropical breeze and yet another day of duty. You get to sleep in a little as it is Sunday after all and you get up to wash up and get ready for Sunday mess. All of a sudden, air raid sirens are going off and you hear explosions. You jump up and look outside the porthole. JAPS ATTACKING! You are confused as you heard they made peace with us a few months ago. But that doesn't matter. They are bombing you and all you can think of is your shipmates and your duty to stop those damn Japs before they kill you all. Unfortunately you are on the USS Arizona and while you don't know it now, you are about to get the worst of it. A bomb hits near the munitions and you wake your friend Johnny up to get him out. He has a new wife Mabel back on the island waiting to see him when he goes on leave. You try to help him through the maze of passages when another bomb goes off near the fuel tank. Smoke starts filling the passageways of the ship and you know the ship is going down. Johnny starts coughing badly and you take his hand to help him to the deck of the ship. However, another explosion goes off right near the two of you and you both become horribly disoriented. You hear anti-aircraft shells and hope that some of the men on the guns take down those planes bombing you. You think you can stand and you try to help Johnny up, but to little avail. Shrapnel has hit him right in the intestines and he is bleeding out. He gives you a box to give Mabel if you make it out of this alive and you promise to deliver it to her with the best wishes and the message that Johnny will always love her. You put the box containing a cowrie shell necklace he bought for her off an islander. It was simple but Mabel loved it and he knew it would mean more than any diamond. As you head to the deck to jump to the ocean, you find more of your shipmates dead and wounded so they come first. Mabel will have to wait. You take a raft and lift as many of your buddies as you can and try to swim them to shore. Many have burns and broken bones. But you are not out of the clear yet. More bombs are falling. Another lifeboat sees you and ties your raft with your commrades to it and helps you and them to the hospital. You see the injuries. Your legs are exhausted and you have smoke inhalation, but you see their suffering. You offer to help by cutting burned skin for grafts and offering blood donation but after awhile the doctor tells you to lie down after you nearly pass out cutting bandages while donating blood. "Give this to a Mrs. Mabel Smith" You tell the doctor as you give him Johnny's box and pass out. If you make it out of this, you will deliver Johnny's message. You fall into a coma for a few days. When you wake up, the US is at war with Japan and Germany and you know that this is just the beginning. Around Christmas, the doctor releases you but not to full duty until an examination at the new year. You find Mabel and tell her the grim news. Her beloved Johnny died. He died in the sinking of the Arizona but he asked you tell her that he will always love her. You see her wearing the cowrie shell necklace and you know the doctor did you that one deed. Mabel falls into your arms crying and you pat her on the back while you hug her. This isn't easy. Her parents didn't want Johnny marrying her but he treated her like the princess she was. You two spend Christmas together but it isn't merry. You lost your best friend and she her husband. You look over the harbor and see that some bodies still find their way to the surface. You couldn't save them all. You know that but you still feel like a failure. Those men will never see their sweethearts ever again and not even get a proper burial. Just get eaten by fish with a burial at sea. Sounds awful for what those men did do. Later after the war, you are given the Medal of Honor for your actions but it doesn't feel right. You are no hero, you did what anyone would do. Later, after asking Johnny's marker if it was alright, you marry Mabel, linked by your loss. Things are not the same. Only a year before Pearl Harbor you were some dumb kid working as a clerk in the hardware store. Now you have seen the worst that mankind can dish out. It will never leave. You can never forgive. You can never forget.
Now take that and think. After reading that and imagining what they would see, would you cower when two wackjobs with guns try to shoot a place up when there are 10 times you as to them? No. I would at least help my friends, if not try to take them down. If they aim to kill you, you should make it hard for them. We need to stand up. We need to not be afraid and we need to show on a personal level if someone is meaning to kill you, you should try to kill them and help your fellow man. Not everyone can kick active shooter ass, but you could get people to safety. Take some first aid and CPR classes so you could treat the wounded. But don't just stand there. If we are a nation that would tend to our fellow man while some kick the ass of the terrorist or shooter, they won't be as active to try and attack us. Everyone is going to die one day. Why not do it trying to help your fellow man? Who knows, you may put the shooter down and still help out. Remember this December 7th the sacrifices made by those young men and the duty the medical personnel did men and women. Make them proud today with your actions.
That's pretty much all I have to say. I say we should cover Pearl Harbor and the memory and the stories more than what some wackjob candidates want to do because of the San Bernadino Terror attack. We need the inspiration of what those average joes did right now.