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seventy years ago

#94791 2 years, 10 months ago
I skipped church that morning, so long ago, and headed straight for mess around 7:45. I didn't feel all that holy after drinking all night and my clothes wreaked of cigarettes and cheap perfume. My head was pounding, I had to be on duty in an hour and I was desperate for a cup of coffee. I didn't really pay attention to the muffled engines overhead though I heard someone comment, “that pilot is going to get written up." A few heads turned as what felt like a minor earthquake followed. “No,” answered an older man mopping the floor, “that's ordinance." A look of concern swept across our faces. For some reason I'll always remember the scratches on the dull brown table as I briefly considered busing my tray before we started moving towards the door, first at a fast walk, which morphed into a jog as we hit the streets. Grey smoke rose over the harbor. We were under attack.

We stopped for a moment to process what we were seeing when we were scattered by a low, screeching plane, pearl grey with a red dot, bearing down on us. I could see the fur lined jacket on the pilot as he turned his mustached face towards me and scowled. We sprinted to the harbor, which was now under bombardment, to man our posts. Training took over as I instinctively grabbed a shore gun and fired wildly at the hundreds of swarming Zeroes. I'd be surprised if I came within a hundred yards of any of them. An officer, wearing only his cap and boxer shorts, marched by sucking furiously on a cigar as an aide was handing him a shirt and some shoes. “Lead left, lead left,” he barked as he scurried toward the command center. I trained on a low flying dive bomber, leading left, barely missing when the gun stopped firing. The belt was exhausted so I leaped onto the ammo box afoot and tried flipping it open. It was padlocked. I looked around and saw men futilely hacking away with hammers and pieces of metal pipe. I tried prying open the container with a small pocket knife when a blast knocked me on my ass. The West Virginia was ablaze and launching huge fireballs into the sky. It was going to sink. Smoke obscured the sun and filled the air with a nauseating mixture of gun powder, diesel oil and what I would soon discover was the smell of burning human beings.

Disoriented and bruised, I started to make my way to the airfield. Where the hell were our guys, anyway? What's going on? I passed the hospital and saw a steady stream of wounded heading that direction. First there were men holding their blood spattered limbs, then those being helped by others, and finally stretchers being dragged by a collection of sailors, nurses and civilians. I grabbed a handle of one when an officer screamed, “We got this”, and I was directed to help gas up planes. I looked down at the injured man, who was wailing for his mama, while he held in his hands what appeared to be the majority of his small intestines. My face drained as I turned and heaved. Dear God, please don't let me die today.

I managed to pull myself to my feet as rivers of sweat poured down my back. When I reached the hangars I saw row after row of shattered aircraft. I helped in the vain effort to douse the flames, first with hoses, then buckets. Minutes seemed like hours. The skies quieted. Three hours had passed but I couldn't tell you what I did for most of them. I sat on a rock and sunk into my hands. Tears cleared narrow avenues of dust from my face. I watched them drop onto the gravel and disappear. I had seen the brutal consequences of a world gone mad from the front row. My life as a carefree young man was over. We were at war.
Last Edit: 2 years, 9 months ago by DrippingColors.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chester, wlewis, calliopewail, DancingBear, SunshineSue
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Re: seventy years ago

#94792 2 years, 10 months ago
I can't come down, it's plain to see.
I can't come down, I've been set free.
Who you are, and what you do,
don't make no difference to me.
The following user(s) said Thank You: DrippingColors
Walk in the Sunshine
Platinum Boarder

Re: seventy years ago

#94796 2 years, 10 months ago
Thank you for this post...
The following user(s) said Thank You: DrippingColors
Platinum Boarder
If you stumble, make it part of the dance.

Re: seventy years ago

#94799 2 years, 10 months ago
It seems like after 911 that alot a people forgot about Pearl Harbor and how tragic it was. My grandfather was there and luckily made it out alive. We must never forget, forgive ...yes.
The voices tell me what to say
The following user(s) said Thank You: DrippingColors
Platinum Boarder

Re: seventy years ago

#94918 2 years, 10 months ago
did anybody else feel like you were "there" while reading that?

great read thanks for sharing that i felt like one in the minority of those who knew about todays significance, the history teacher in me
who else is gonna bring you, a broken arrow?
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