Sunday, February 5, 2012

70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor


As the commemorative Events chair for our DAR chapter,  I had asked the members to submit information about any relatives they had lost during World War II and also to share any remembrances of family member comments about the war. After reviewing the submissions I decided to present additional  information about the  "70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941."

The Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, was attacked by Japanese torpedo and bomber planes on December 7, 1941, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time. The sneak attack sparked outrage in the American public, news media, government and the world. On December 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the American Congress, and the nation, to detail the attack. He began:""Yesterday, 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".  The United States was at peace with that nation and was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward a solution of peace in the Pacific.
 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. In that address, the president asked Congress to pass a declaration of war. Congress obliged, voted and passed the U.S. Declaration of War on Japan, on the same day. That was America's formal entry into World War II ." ( If you click on the words in blue it will take you to the website for additional information.)

During the January DAR meeting, I focused on the stories that our chapter members submitted about their families and what they remembered about the effects of the Pearl Harbor Attack and the war that ensued after that attack.  James R. Hunt, Bonnie Becmer's uncle, died from wounds received in a WW II battle in France, 1944.  Not much was known about his death but after researching the American Battle Monuments Commission, caretakers of all the military cemeteries, Ron Eckard, my husband, discovered James' story.  Ron's great uncle also died in France and since he gained a great deal of information about his uncle by reviewing the commission's web site he wanted to see if there was any information on Bonnie’s uncle and also to see if Bonnie's uncle and his were in the same division. Bonnie will eventually receive a large lithographic picture of the cross bearing James R. Hunt's name with the cemetery showing in the background.  Also, she will receive the military file (if it exists) of her uncle since she followed up and submitted the proper papers.

Below is some information if you would like to research a member of your family and receive their  Individual Deceased Personnel File, IDPF and if you would like any additional research information concerning this important event could contact Norma Eckard  or Bonnie Becmer .

Posted by Norma Eckard, Commemorative Events Chair

Norma Eckard and Bonnie Becmer

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