12-7-12 - Remembering Pearl Harbor
Senator Cathy Giessel Responds to Yesterday's Call to Action, Supporting Senator Mark Begich's Efforts to Reduce Impact of EPA Ruling!
Commentary by Dave Harbour
Dad and Mom, Col. and Mrs. Dave Harbour, share a peaceful space under a huge, 150-year-old tropical shade tree above Honolulu at Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific. Their remains rest where their relationship began 71 years ago.
On December 6, 1941 my fighter pilot dad, then a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, had taken an English-Latin teacher, an Eastern Pennsylvania farm girl, out on a date. Everyone called her, "Bobbie", though her given name was Selma.
While Mom and Dad were a little sketchy about the details, I do know that early Saturday morning, December 7, Dad had dropped Mom off at her place and was returning to his base when all hell broke loose.
He hurried to the airfield where his fighter and many others were already being strafed and bombed by Japanese Zeros.
Failing to get a plane in the air, he did the only thing he could, take cover and try to place round after round from his .45 semi-automatic pistol through metal and flesh of the alien aircraft as they made pass after pass over the airfield.
Mom and Dad shared special moments together in the hectic days following that day of infamy until he received orders shipping him out to New Guinea. There he would patrol the seaways to intercept, engage and destroy, enemy ships and planes.
Before Dad left, he and Mom were married. Dad then left Oahu for his new assignment and would get his start as a famous outdoor writer, later producing several books and writing hundreds of articles for outdoor publications like Sports Afield...and assisting in the foundation of the American Wild Turkey Federation. He got that start by learning to write action stories for 'pulp war magazines' during the unpredictable moments of tense leisure between combat missions in New Guinea.
The Army shipped Mom back to Coleman, Texas to stay with Dad's folks until he was reassigned to the Continential United States (CONUS). I was born a Texan, about nine months after those perilous Pearl Harbor days--on September 4, 1942.
I think that one of the reasons Dad did so well in combat and in a distinguished Air Force career, was his motivation to protect the country for his new family.
I remember sharing that feeling when as a 2nd Lieutenant, I shipped off years later to Korea. The hugs and smiles Dad and Mom and I shared at that parting seemed to transmit from one generation to the next the love of God, country and family and the determination to protect our way of life. And, what Mom and Dad's generation protected has provided a wonderful way of life, cultivated in the fertile land of freedom.
On this day my reflection and prayer is that our children will inherit and keep the same freedom and way of life we inherited from our parents. When those in power have boldly stated they want to 'fundamentally change the United States,' it makes me cringe and wonder if I would feel as inclined to volunteer for military service now as I did in 1966. I knew what values I was protecting then. Today, I join many others in being somewhat confused and fearful as to what our country now stands for and is evolving into.
So, today I pray for clarity. I pray that our country's values for this generation will be as worth protecting as they were when Dad and Mom faced the horror of war head on, and when I served.
I pray this moment for our Nation, knowing that the ONLY reason we have been enabled to succeed is that we have followed our founders' respect for, devotion to and love of God, His Savior son and His guidance.
I pray for those now serving in uniform and those contemplating service.
I pray that we do not lose our love of God and and our Founders' dream, lest we lose the values that have inspired generations of patriots, until now, to defend them with their lives and sacred honor.
Earlier this week we suggested that our readers comment on a potential solution to Alaska¹s concern with the EPA's Emission Control Area (ECA) that threatens the State's economy. We found that Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo-above) has written Senator Begich on the subject.