On Pearl Harbor
Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I've been there... seen the bullet holes that still exist in the buildings on post at both Tripler and Schofield Barracks. I've stood on the air strip where the only two Army planes that managed to take off flew into impossible odds to challenge the overwhelming enemy force. I've stood on the memorial that straddles the Arizona and watched the fuel seeping out - floating to the surface and realized that the remains of a lot of men were still trapped below me. I've stood on the base of the cross that was erected in Kolekole Pass in the Waianae Mountains that marks the path where the enemy planes flew as they made there way to Pearl. (Some say that the planes did not fly through the Pass but along the inside of the mountain range making it appear as if they came through the pass. I don't know, but it was from that general direction.)
During my military tenure, I flew the island's skies in military helicopters and planes knowing that Japanese planes were in the skies some 35 years before looking at the same scenes I was presently observing, as they bombed our military in their surprise, unprovoked attack.
The fall of 2006 marks another 30 years since I was stationed at Schofield Barracks... over 65 years since the Japanese attack. The memory of what I experienced living and serving there in the 70's is still vivid in my memory. The emotional attachment I felt and still feel for those fallen soldiers developed for me from that military experience and is still strong as it is for any true patriots that has served in our military.
Some say we were wrong to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan. To those people I say they have no pride in their country. I say they know nothing of the sacrifice our military people have made for our beloved nation. I say they have no concept of what freedom really means nor of the price that has to be paid to acquire and preserve freedom. The blood and the memory of those that died at Pearl 65 years ago and of our other patriots that gave their lives for our freedom cries out that we never forget the price of freedom!
I processed out of the Army in 1978. Soon after I returned home, my father asked me if I missed the military. All I could say was "Yes." He said, "You always will!" He should know. He saw the worse of war but survived earning a Silver Star and four Bronze Stars..... a true American hero, a patriot and a soldier of the cross.
Praise God. Even though I served, I never had to fight a war. They fought for me.
Timothy H. Ford
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113