It is the eve of the most infamous day in American and Japanese History. This day in 1941 the Japanese prepared to launch one of the greatest surprise attacks in military history, and the most notable. A preemptive strike to cripple the US Navy and US Army Air Corps in the Pacific to allow for the expansion of the Japanese Empire. It was carried out in conjunction with diplomatic maneuvers, the ultimate deceptions and extreme radio silence resulted in a virtually text book perfect preemptive strike. Our intelligence services attempted to warn the US Government of the intentions of Japan, and this was years in the making (our consulate in China was attacked while evacuating on a ship in 1937, all hands were lost).

I had the great honor of meeting some survivors in Colorado Springs at Memorial Park when I was a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield Colorado. We would stand in formation and assist in the Honor Guard and Wreath Laying along with the Sea Cadets and Young Marines and our sister school Widefield High School (who also had a NJROTC). In formation I remember a speech given by one of these men who survived the attack, he warned of the need for vigilance in our times, even with how relatively 'peaceful' the 1990's were. This was sometime in the between the year 1997-1999, I don't remember which year it was exactly (we did this every year!).

Later on in my time in high school, my senior year (class of 2000!) I got into a debate with my Creative Writing Teacher (whom was very proud of marrying a Vietnam draft dodger who ate soap to fail a physical...) about why I intended to join the military. She asked me who we needed to defend ourselves from, I mentioned China at first (after all, they had just stolen our nuclear secrets along with funding part of Bill Clinton's Presidential Campaigns...), and she asked me who else. When I mentioned terrorists, she just laughed.

9/11/01, these two snid-bits of speeches and conversations haunted me. I was in the US Air Force, and had just gotten Combat Mission Ready in July. I was ready, I was on duty, and I felt that I was where God wanted me (I still had the same pit in my stomach that everybody felt, yet I also felt a strange peace about it too...).

Never forget, never stop the vigilance!

Things to note about Pearl Harbor...

Along with the famous "Sleeping Giant" quote:

Admiral Yamamoto: "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Advising Japan's military leaders of the futility of an invasion of the mainland United States because of the widespread availability of guns. It has been theorized that this was a major contributing factor in Japan's decision not to land on North America early in the war when they had vastly superior military strength. This delay gave our industrial infrastructure time to gear up for the conflict and was decisive in our later victory.

I should include, that the Alaska Territorial Guard epitomized this statement by the Admiral...

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