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THE USS ARIZONA.
December 7th 1941
years ago the sun rose on Oahu (Hawaii) a few minutes before
0630 hrs. Later accounts vary in many details, but all agree
that the day dawned fair—blue skies, wispy clouds, a
fresh breeze. It was a quiet Sunday morning.
On the great naval base at Pearl
Harbor, a battle-of-the-bands competition had been held the
evening before. American battleships carried 20-man bands,
and in a semi-final two weeks earlier the USS Arizona's band
had qualified for the final round. The concert on Dec 6th
was a second semi-final, and the Arizona's musicians attended
only to watch and listen.
Next morning they were back
aboard ship. When "first call to colors" was bugled
(through the loud speakers) just before eight, the band formed
up on the fantail to play The Star Spangled Banner."
But before they struck up came the drone of approaching aircraft.
flying planes, bearing the distinctive red "meatball"
insignia, appeared, dropping torpedoes and dive bombing. Arizona's
bandsmen rushed to their battle stations. The US Coast Guards
motto is semper paratus, always ready, but in 1941
peace-loving America was minime paratus, very little
prepared, even though Europe had been at war for over two
years and Japan for more than four.
Photo courtesy of Petty Officer 1st Class
Daniel Barker/US Navy
Navy is not going to be caught napping," the secretary
of the Navy, Frank Knox, had promised a mere three days earlier.
The Japanese attack—boldly conceived, assiduously plotted
and rehearsed, shamelessly perfidious—torpedoed not
only battleships, but American complacency.
Japan's great victory, however
was a catastrophic miscalculation. Never since have Americans
been so collectively aroused, ignighted and determined. The
empire's doom was assured even before the attacking aircraft
had returned to to their carriers 200 miles north of Oahu.
Imperial Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander-in-chief
of the Japanese fleet and architect of the attack, feared
as much. If ordered to go to war with America, he had warned,
"I can guarantee to put up a tough fight for the first
six months, but I have absolutely no confidence as to what
would happen if it went on for two or three years.
In exactly six months—June
7th 1942—a shattered Japanese strike force would retreat
from Midway (Island) , leaving four aircraft carriers on the
bottom of the Pacific. Yamamoto survived Pearl Harbor by less
than two years: American pilots, fittingly, ambushed his plane
(on April 18, 1943, during the Solomon Islands campaign in
the Pacific Theater of World War II. He was killed on Bougainville
Island when his transport bomber aircraft was shot down by
United States Army Air Force fighter aircraft operating from
Kukum Field on Guadalcanal).
Hearing of Pearl Harbor, Winston
Churchill in beleaguered Britain gloated: "Hitler's fate
was sealed." while the Japanese "would be ground
to powder." And so they were.
But for the 2,403 Americans
killed at Pearl Harbor, there would be no victory celebration.
At battle quarters, Arizona's bandsmen did not fiddle. When
general quarters sounded, they dropped their cornets and clarinets
and hurried to the ammunition hoists beneath the forward turrets,
where they handled the heavy powder bags for the ship's 14
At nearby Tripler Army Hospital,
Army nurse Anna Busby was herself a patient that morning,
with an infected cheek. Hearing explosions, she rushed out
to a lanai to look. "My God the Japanese are bombing
Pearl Harbor!" another nurse exclaimed. "Well we
will all be needed on duty," Anna replied. She doffed
her patient's gown and donned her nurse's uniform. "You
can't go anywhere with that red face, " the chief nurse
said. "You'd better take charge of the women's ward."
And so Anna recalled, "I reported on duty, took the report,
and now I was in charge of the women's ward, where I was a
patient in the last hour."
Only minutes after the attack
began, a Japanese bomb hit the Arizona, triggering a volcanic
explosion in the forward magazines. The ship broke in half
and quickly sank. Almost 1,200 sailors and Marines, including
all 21 musicians died.
We sleep peacefully in our beds
at night, it has been said, because rough men stand ready
to do violence on our behalf. But few of the sailors on the
Arizona were rough men. Many were homesick young recruits,
18- and 19-year old boys from rural and working class America.
One bandsman had enlisted the year before at 16. Arizona's
dead remain entombed in their sunken ship, America's most
poignant war memorial,
At Gettysburg, the Park Service
boasts of offering visitors "fresh experiences for a
new generation." There's no need for "fresh experiences"
at Pearl Harbor. Silent, still and solemn beneath the harbor's
lapping waters, the Arizona mourns her dead mutely, timelessly.
They fought the enemy, said
a poet. We fight for living and self-pity.
Arizona's wounds still bleed.
Every day, two or three quarts of oil seep from the ship and
float to the surface. "I was very, very frightened,"
nurse Busby recalled of December 7 and the days following.
Like most on Oahu, she feared the attack was prelude to invasion.
Japanese brutalities in China made this a terrifying prospect.
"I was petrified,"
she admitted. "But I did my duties. I carried on."
Professor of English
REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR
DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY.
Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of
the House of Representatives:
December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy --
the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately
attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation
of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and
its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the
one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing
in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to
the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary
of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And
while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue
the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat
or hint of war or of armed attack.1
will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes
it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days
or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese
government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States
by false statements and expressions of hope for continued
attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe
damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to
tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In
addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the
high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending
throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today
speak for themselves. The people of the United States have
already formed their opinions and well understand the implications
to the very life and safety of our nation.
Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that
all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our
whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against
matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated
invasion, the American people in their righteous might will
win through to absolute victory.
believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the
people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves
to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this
form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our
territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
confidence in our armed forces, with the un bounding determination
of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help
ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and
dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a
state of war has existed between the United States and the
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in
an address to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941
80/20 RULE REVISITED.
knows the 80/20 rule: 20% of the people in any given
situation or organization do 80% of the work, contribute
80% of the revenue, show up 80% of the time. Conversely,
80% of the people do 20% of the work, contribute 20%
of the revenue, show up 20% of the time. From volunteer
organizations (like BNI) to the federal government,
the 80/20 rule holds. [Some argue that the ratio may
be 90/10, but you get the idea.]
You can probably site
examples of the 80/20 rule at work in your company or
Now consider applying
the rule to to troublesome clients or customers. 80%
of your tsouris comes from 20% of the folks
that you serve. So if one or two of your clients or
customers are driving you crazy and are draining time
or energy away from more reasonable and profitable clients,
maybe it's time to politely—but firmly—part
your business from this minority.
Suggest that another firm
or individual might be better able to work constructively
with them. Offer to supply a list of your competitors.
killed two birds with one stone.
ABCs OF BUSINESS-PART VIII.
A Modern Glossary for Workplace Survival
is a key ingredient of your pleasant persona.
Good nodding soothes people and lets them know you're paying
attention even when you're not. In open meetings, where you
can almost doze and not get caught, it may be wise to interject
an occasional comment like "Huh" or "No way"
to show you're in the same room.
is the organization that owns the organization that owns the
one that owns yours. Parents are gray and sober of mien, and
they tend to nag a lot. This parent could also divest you
without a tear or make you travel to Dubuque in the winter.
So it pays to make a big fuss when it visits and to tread
lightly when you are a guest in its home.
are all the goodies your company lavishes on you at their
discretion. Included are caps, jackets and the occasional
Clippers ticket for lowly types; posh hotels, unlimited access
to golf, tennis junkets and Lakers season tickets for high
middle management; and airplanes, cars and new spouses for
very senior people. The best perk of all is a flexible and
mighty slab of plastic in your wallet and a controller who
signs off on your expense account without reading it too closely.
in the Wall Street Journal
are a proud member of the National Federation of Independent
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