A Day That Will Live In Infamy Plus 77 Years

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is also marks the first time that a surviving member of the crew of the USS Arizona will not be in Hawaii to commemorate the event.

From the news reports:

No one who survived the bombing of the USS Arizona battleship will be in the audience.

“This is the very first year,” said Daniel Martinez, historian with the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Health issues and doctor’s orders prevented Lou Conter from coming.

“She said you cannot go. You better cancel out,” he said in telephone interview from his home in California.

Conter is 97. The handful of survivors of the battleship’s sinking are all in their 90s…

About 300 USS Arizona sailors survived Japan’s surprise attack.

Only five are alive: Conter, Don Stratton, Ken Potts, Lonnie Cook and Lauren Bruner.

The hatred and enmity between the two countries is in the past. Now you have survivors who fought on each side coming together in ceremonies like the Blacked Canteen ceremony which celebrates peace and reconciliation.

A Cool Bit Of History Found In British Columbia

Like so many “secret weapons” late in World War II, the Japanese fire balloons or Fu-Go (Windship Weapon) were a failure. Of the 9,300 hydrogen balloons launched with incendiaries attached, about 300 were found to have landed or been shot down in North America. The Japanese hoped that these balloons would have reached the forests along the Pacific coast and started massive fires that would divert resources from the war in the Pacific Theater.

The bombs did kill six people, a pregnant woman and five kids, in southern Oregon who were out on a church camping trip. However, no massive fires were started and no resources diverted.

Until this month, the last time a balloon bomb was found was in the 1970s. A forestry worker in Lumby, British Columbia discovered one last Thursday.

On Thursday morning RCMP in Lumby were asked by one of Tolko’s employees to come to an area off Thunder Mountain Forest Road. The employee suspected that he had found an unexploded Japanese balloon bomb. The bomb is partly embedded in the ground within the bush in the area east of Lumby. Officers photographed the bomb and the military disposal unit from Esquimalt is heading to the area to deal with the unexploded bomb.

The RCMP said that they hoped to be able to salvage parts of the bomb such as the aluminum ring seen in the picture below for display at the local Lumby Museum.

This is a cool bit of history. I hope they succeed in preserving as much of it as possible. Looking at Lumby on the map, it is in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. This means this balloon bomb, after crossing the North Pacific, drifted over the coastal mountains and about two-thirds of BC to land in Lumby. That’s incredible.

John Kerry – “Gun Violence” Keeps Japanese Students Away

From the vaguely French looking Secretary of State who, by the way, served in Vietnam:

Secretary of State John Kerry thinks Japanese students don’t come to the United States to study because of “gun violence”. He goes on to say:

Kerry cited Japan’s tough gun laws preventing almost all private
firearms ownership and said the country was safer “where people are not
running around with guns.”

Of course I’m sure Japan also has laws about the possession of chemical weapons like Sarin but that didn’t stop the gas attacks on the Tokyo subway. Just like they have laws that make it illegal to kill schoolchildren, innocent bystanders, and coworkers with a knife.

UPDATE: The Washington Post evaluated Kerry’s claim and gave it a 3 Pinocchio’s out of a possible 4.  The number of Japanese exchange students has been declining for the last 15 years….as has their economy.