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I have no need to start a bash of any kind with this thread but today is the 70th year since the Japanesse bombed Pearl Harbor, casting this country into a hell.

Thinking of the death and distruction caused by that act made me think how lucky we all are today. We can all take part in chewing the fat, talking trash and about motorcycles because of the work, blood, sweat and sacrifice of the allies in that war. All the countries involved in the winning side suffered and have had to rebuild what was lost. Family members lost before most of us were born played a huge role in all our lives today in how we live.

Hopefully this world wide mayhem will never again happen but who knows? The old saying about those who forget history or choose to ignore it are bound to repeat it is never more true than today. Thank goodness the allies won.:) Respectfully Hap
 

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Watched on the news a tiny snippet about the ceremony held at Pearl Harbor, my heart sank a bit realizing how few of them are left.

We will be less of a people without them.
 

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Ironically Germany, Japan and Italy account for the majority of current Motorcycle production...

Not wishing to undermine your point about sacrifice in any way of course.
 
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Ironically Germany, Japan and Italy account for the majority of current Motorcycle production...

Not wishing to undermine your point about sacrifice in any way of course.
Oh no problem. My point still stands. If the allies had lost the only bike would all have if any would be a slave built BMW. I can't imagine the Japanese caring about bikes if they had won nor the Italians even being capable of building any on their own with out the Germans suppling the know how or parts. Goes to show how all sides benifited I would say.
 

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All the countries involved in the winning side suffered and have had to rebuild what was lost.
All the people of BOTH sides suffered greatly...

I heard a really interesting show on Radio 4 this afternoon about Pearl Harbour... I will try to find a link, if anyone's interested...


Here's the link. Whether you're interested or not. :)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017x06c
 

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I visited Pear Harbor, the USS Arizona, and the USS Missouri a few years back. I was surprised at the emotions I felt for people I did not know, maybe because they had sacrificed so much of themselves for the welfare of others. People on both sides pay a heavy price for war. It's a tragedy that never seems to end.
 

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I would guess there is a connection between Axis countries and current motorcycle construction. I know Vespa really took off as an airplane designer set out to make something to get his country's citizens mobile again. The same may have happened with the other countries too.

As for Pearl Harbor, I believe without it our participation in the war would have been far less enthusiastic. As tragic an outcome we incurred that day, I would bet a strong unified populous that resulted from the attack ultimately won the war in our favor. Remember how unified we were after 9/11?
 

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My father-in-law pulled in to Pearl in October of '42 on his way to Guadalcanal (he was a SeaBee). He vividly recalled that the captain called all hands to the rail to witness the still-smoking wreckage. They all knew then, if they hadn't before, what they were fighting for and about.

I was privileged to know him for almost five years and I believe that he enjoyed talking with me about his wartime experiences. He'd never opened up to his own kids about this stuff, but he knew that I was genuinely interested. I've got lots of stories of his that I could relate, but this isn't the right forum for that. Suffice it to say that he was one of a kind and I miss him. RIP Frank Bueche.

Never Forget...

Ken
 

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The Japanese attack was a world changing event for sure and the victims and survivors should be recognized and honored for their ordeal. The need for U.S. actions after the fact seemed clearly defined and they galvanized the American public into a war machine at almost every level. Amazing.

I think that Al queda's attack on the World Trade Center was as much an audacious surprise as was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both accounted for about 2500 casualties and both summoned up huge patriotic spirit. But for some reason our path to resolution seemed less clear and the ongoing pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, and Al Queda, never really got under the skin or affected the daily life of Americans as WWII did. Yes we were grieving the loss and harm to soldiers, friends and family, but somehow there has been a different kind of public reaction to two very similar incidents.

Yes we are all lucky today to enjoy the freedom and prosperity that we have. But is it possible that unlike the sense of relief that we felt when the Japanese surrendered, we are now somehow, looking over our shoulders with a different sense of caution and fear?
 

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We face a different sort of enemy today. Then we faced two truly world powers (and a wannabe), instead of a small band of fanatics.A huge mobilization would not help in this kind of war, but was what was required then.

The Japanese attack was a world changing event for sure and the victims and survivors should be recognized and honored for their ordeal. The need for U.S. actions after the fact seemed clearly defined and they galvanized the American public into a war machine at almost every level. Amazing.

I think that Al queda's attack on the World Trade Center was as much an audacious surprise as was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both accounted for about 2500 casualties and both summoned up huge patriotic spirit. But for some reason our path to resolution seemed less clear and the ongoing pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, and Al Queda, never really got under the skin or affected the daily life of Americans as WWII did. Yes we were grieving the loss and harm to soldiers, friends and family, but somehow there has been a different kind of public reaction to two very similar incidents.

Yes we are all lucky today to enjoy the freedom and prosperity that we have. But is it possible that unlike the sense of relief that we felt when the Japanese surrendered, we are now somehow, looking over our shoulders with a different sense of caution and fear?
 

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My grandfather was there. Luckily he survived or I wouldn't be here. He never talked about it.
Not talking about it was/is very common. I know that my father-in-law truly believed that what he'd done wasn't anything special, but merely what anyone would have done in his place and, thus, wasn't worth talking about. Fortunately, I was able to convince him that he'd been, if nothing else, a witness to history and owed it to the future to relate what he'd seen. I'll always be glad that he chose to share his experiences with me.

FWIW, I've been privileged to spend time speaking with many WWII vets, including Bob Morgan, Paul Tibbets, several Tuskegee Airmen, Tokyo Raiders, and code talkers. To a man, they all felt the same way.

Ken
 

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Our entering the war formally was inevitable. Pearl Harbor pissed us off though. Bad move. Perhaps it even shortened the war, by motivating the nation.
 

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Our entering the war formally was inevitable. Pearl Harbor pissed us off though. Bad move. Perhaps it even shortened the war, by motivating the nation.
Yamamoto knew the likelihood of this well and commented on it at least twice in correspondence. He spoke English and was familiar with the US, both from his two years at Harvard and from his position as a representative of the Imperial Navy in Washington in the Thirties. Nevertheless, he eventually yielded to the prevailing military and political realities (more or less the same thing at that time & place) in Japan - principally the influence of Tojo's faction - and the attack on Pearl was the result.

He, of course, did not survive the war, falling to a successful P-38 mission to bring down his Betty transport in 1943.

Ken
 

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Yamamoto knew the likelihood of this well and commented on it at least twice in correspondence.
Ken
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Religious fundamentalists don't have that fear and will just keep coming at us.

All 9 of my uncles served during WWII, dad twice. He enlisted in the army in 1937 for 3 years and was then drafted in 1945 two days after his brother Ted was sunk on the USS Indianapolis. Ted talked about his ordeal of spending 4 days floating in a life jacket in the ocean until being discover and rescued. He was sick his entire adult life and passed away at age 70.

Two of his brothers served in the ETO and NEVER EVER talked about their experience - it was a topic you just never brought up.

As for the rest of the family; those who could afford to buy war bonds did so. Those who could actively collect metals, rubber and other materials as part of local drives, did so. Mom said that everyone felt that they had a role to play in supporting the war.
 

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My father-in-law pulled in to Pearl in October of '42 on his way to Guadalcanal (he was a SeaBee).
My uncle also paid a brief visit to Pearl shortly after the attack. He was on his way to Melbourne and eventually to Tacloban in the Phillipines (by way of Torrens Creek, Mareeba, and Port Moresby). He was tail gunner on "Satan's Sister", a B24-D of the 403 Squadron of the 43 Bomb Group (Heavy) of the 5th AAF. Tokyo Rose called them the "butchers from Mareeba", so they took "Mareeba Butchers" as their official squadron name.



My uncle is the second from the right kneeling. He earned 2 DFC's and the Air Medal (among other decorations) flying 46 combat missions. Satan's Sister was retired in mid-December 1944 as having been too heavily damaged to repair. Her highly-decorated crew returned to the U.S. and made publicity appearances on behalf of the war effort until the Japanese surrendered.

Not to get too political, but when people were commenting about the U.S. Marines being stationed in Australia a few days ago, I couldn't help thinking that except for U.S. soldiers like my uncle and kbalch's father-in-law, Japanese would be the official language in Australia and lot of other places in the South Pacific.
 

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Not to get too political, but when people were commenting about the U.S. Marines being stationed in Australia a few days ago, I couldn't help thinking that except for U.S. soldiers like my uncle and kbalch's father-in-law, Japanese would be the official language in Australia

Australians are greatful for the US entering the Pacific war in '41. Without them the war would have potentially been catastrophic for Australia.

Most of the Australian combat resources had been sent to Europe and had been fighting there for 2 years prior to Japan starting major operations in the Pacific leaving Australia starkly exposed. Without the US we would have been in huge trouble.

Be careful how you word things though. It wasn't *just* the US that saved Australia from Japan.

Australian troops either brought back from Europe or raw recruits taken pretty much off the street and dumped into the hell of Kokoda defended Australia. We suffered huge casualties defending our nation, we weren't just sitting around asking to be saved. Without the US it would have been grim but it wasn't just the US fighting Japan.

I have no problem with US marines being stationed here. I don't really see it as being for our defence though, rather we are allies and by being stationed here the US is able to both more quickly deploy into the Pacific and Asia and work better with Australian units etc.

We were then and are still allies.
 
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