Today two hundred and sixty-six Americans gathered on a cold, windy 07 December at Patriots Point to remember Pearl Harbor. The memorial program was put together and run by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10624, Glenn Jeffers Post and the South Carolina Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Six Pearl Harbor survivors attended the ceremony: Ed Crews, John Lawhon, Russell Meyne, Buck Morris, Thomas Ryan, and Gordon Sparks.
The assembled crowd was the largest seen in at least two decades, if not in Patriots Point history and the fact that it happened on a very blustery, cold day made it more remarkable. Perhaps folks wanted to get out one last time to pay their respects and gratitude to those who took the first punch from Japan and got back up to fight and win a very hard war. Around forty (40) survivors are still living in South Carolina and again only six made it today. Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and hopefully the same six will attend, but the law of averages and Father Time would gladly take your bet.
The nation owes a great debt to all Americans, men and women, who fought to keep Freedom alive in World War II…fighting against dictators, and enslaved peoples, people who would later thank America for restoring their freedom…
Now where men are not their own masters and independent, but are ruled by despots, they are not really militarily capable, but only appear to be warlike…. For men’s souls are enslaved and they refuse to run risks readily and recklessly to increase the power of their masters.
But independent people, taking risks on their own behalf and not on behalf of a master, are willing and eager to go into danger, for they themselves enjoy the prize of victory. So institutions contribute a great deal to military valor.
Hippocrates, Airs, Waters, Places (16, 23)