On the morning of December 7, Post Commander Dr. Gerald Thompson and the men and women of VFW Post 6483 participated in a Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony in Bicentennial Park. The Honor Guard dropped a wreath in the Mispillion River honoring those who had endured The Attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Dr. Thompson reflected on the day “which will live and infamy” and remarked on past research he found that recorded the event through numerous personal accounts, historical details and emotional pictures.
“This day must never be forgotten by the United States,” commented Dr. Thompson. “We must acknowledge those men at Pearl Harbor and all the men in World War II in both theaters. ”
Dr. Thompson went on to tell a story about Admiral Nimitz who was giving a boat tour of the destruction at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Day just eighteen days after the infamous attack. While touring the scene of the wreckage left behind by the Japanese, Admiral Nimitz was asked a simple question by a young helmsman. He asked the admiral what he thought after seeing all this destruction. Surprising to the helmsman, Nimitz responded that the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes ever made by an attack force.
Nimitz explained that the Japanese attacked on a Sunday morning when 9 out of 10 men were ashore on leave, they did not attack the dry docks delaying the United States repair of the battleships and they did not attack the fuel supply which was located nearby. It was these flaws made by the Japanese that helped the United States repair its naval fleet quickly and begin the Pacific Theatre of WWII and ultimately the victory for the allied forces. Dr. Thompson’s message was a remembrance of the liberties that the veteran has provided in addition to his service and sacrifice.
“The veteran’s ability to see victory in the face of complete destruction and defeat is how each of us should view our surrounding world,” commented Dr. Thompson. “It is the confidence and fortitude of the soldier that must be remembered.”