On Dec. 7, 1941, the United States was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy on an early Sunday morning surprise ambush at the U.S. Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a day that will live on in infamy! On Monday, Dec. 8, the U.S. Congress convened and listened to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress for a vote of War against the Japanese Imperial Government. Congress immediately voted unanimously to “Declare War against the Japanese Imperial Government!”
A long and bloody war followed with the United States taking a beating by the Japanese. On April 18, 1942, Americans rejoiced when they heard about Jimmy Doolittle and his 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers that were launched from the deck of the USS Hornet. Their first mission resulted in a successful bombing of the capital city of Tokyo and was the first victory of the Pacific war. It was coined “The Battle of Midway.”
On June 4, 1942, the tide of war changed for the Americans. We were thrilled to see that we now had the Japanese Navy “on the run!” It was glorious news for ALL of us. The U.S. Navy almost demolished the Japanese fleet, as the Japanese lost four large aircraft carriers, a cruiser, and 292 aircraft. The Americans lost the USS Yorktown and one destroyer. The Japanese fleet, or what was left of it, was able to escape and retreated to Japan. The tide was forever altered, and from this day on it was America’s victories until Japan signed the surrender papers aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. VJ Day is Aug. 15, 1945.
The war was over. America, through its devoted Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as her unified citizens, had triumphed and became Leaders of the Free World!
We all celebrated. I was 15 years old and did everything I could to help the war effort by collecting recycling and doing whatever else a teenage boy at that time could do to contribute. My mother, Mary Esther Ferrell, was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army Air Corps at Tinder Air Base. She was a time/motion expert and had her own secretary. She went on to retire from the Air Force. I composed a scrapbook of the entire war and still have that scrapbook to this day.
Fast forward to 2021: The times have significantly changed, and not for the better. President Biden has placed America on the back burner, botched the ending of the war in Afghanistan, and left hundreds of American citizens behind enemy lines. Whether they will ever be rescued is unclear.
He has opened the southern border to anyone, in a reckless effort to make good on his so-called election promises. The United States had finally become energy independent due to the efforts of former President Donald Trump; now Biden has placed us back in the “back seat” of the energy-dependent nations. There are looters and gang warfare in our large cities with no hope in sight of arresting this criminal behavior. It is clear to me that Biden and his far-left administration is further dividing our great country every day he is in office. This is a far cry from America that I knew and loved in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
My closing statement is this: God help us and God bless the USA.
Jack Ferrell, U.S. Navy Commander, Ret.