Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day Of Infamy

As hopefully everyone is aware, today is the anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated WW II.

Note that I said sneak attack. In recent years there has been a trend to describe it as something else. But IMO anytime you attack someone while still engaged in negotiations with them qualifies as a sneak attack. Screw today's political correctness.

As a school project for Veteran's Day a few years ago, our son was compiling a series of stories from WW II veterans on video. One of the interviewees was the father of a friend of mine. He's a Marine, decorated during the landing at Tarawa. He received the Purple heart and a Silver Star as a result of his actions there, and went on to participate in a couple more Pacific campaigns.

As part of the project, our son had an interview script. One of the first questions was "Why did you enlist?" Most of the responses were, as you might expect, something along the lines of  'to protect my country.'

All except the Marine. I didn't know whether to be appalled, or to stand up and applaud, when he said "To kill every God-damned jap I could get my hands on." (Needless to say, one part of that reply was bleeped out before the project was turned in.)

I should note that this veteran experienced some of the most brutal, inhumane, up close and personal combat in a part of the war notorious for brutality and inhumaneness.

It obviously had a lasting impact on my friend's father. He is so adamantly anti-Japanese that to this day he refuses to ride in a Toyota or Honda.   

If, as our progressive friends assert, we are shaped by our experiences, then we have a conundrum. Is this retired Marine a racist or a victim?

I don't know for sure, but I have my opinion. To keep it simple, I'll just call him today and thank him for his service. There aren't many like him left, and we should all be grateful for those members of The Greatest Generation who stood up and were counted when it mattered.

1 comment:

Harper said...

Our memories have become short. Our propensity to forgive and forget lacks discernment.

Is this retired Marine a racist or a victim??

Neither. He is a hero.