Pearl Harbor Survivor Day Speech

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PEARL HARBOR DAY SPEECH Presented by LTC (Ret) Russell A. Eno to the Columbus, Georgia, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #665 on December 7, 2004 THEME: PEARL HARBOR…TRAGEDY AND INSPIRATION Colonel Nett, thank you for your kind introduction. It’s always a pleasure to see you again, sir. General Cavezza, Colonel Mitchell, Commander Horvatter, Mr. Coppeler, Mr. Rhodes, Pearl Harbor Veterans, other World War II veterans, and honored guests. I am happy and proud to be here today, and to be in the company of men and women who have preserved and protected this great nation for over sixty years, and in some cases even longer. You have served America in peace and war, in ways great and small, in and out of uniform, often without…show more content…
Five of the battleships sunk or damaged—and many of the sailors on them—went on to fight again, the ships earning a total of 36 battle stars for combat action. The attack was a strategic disaster for the Japanese, because they missed their primary targets: our aircraft carriers. At the time of the attacks, the USS Enterprise and USS Lexington had not yet returned from delivering aircraft to Wake and Midway Islands, and the USS Saratoga was at San Diego loading planes and cargo for Pearl Harbor. The carriers Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown would later deal the Japanese a defeat at the Battle of Midway from which they would never…show more content…
It was decided that the best way to respond was by bombing Tokyo, the capitol of Japan, itself. On April 18, 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Doolittle led a flight of sixteen B-25B bombers from the carriers USS Hornet and USS Enterprise that dropped a total of sixty-four 500 pound bombs—that’s sixteen tons of bombs—on military and industrial targets in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya. While not a devastating raid compared to our massive bombing campaign against Japan later in the war, this showed that we, too, had aircraft carriers and that America possessed both the will and the means to project combat power across the breadth of the Pacific Ocean. Both the Pearl Harbor attack and the Doolittle raid on Tokyo—one a dastardly sneak attack and the other a hint of the retribution that was to come—proved that the vast expanses of oceans no longer offered the protection that they had in the past, a lesson that is as valid today as it was 60 years

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