World War II started for Americans with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and ended four years later with two Atomic bombs dropped from B-29s on Japanese cities.
Not many remain alive from that day long ago – December 7, 1941.
No more than 2,000 veterans who were there on the Sunday morning the Japanese attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, according to the Washington Post. All in their 90s or older.
Soon, all Americans who fought in World War II will join the veterans of World War I and the Civil War, all under tombstones, their personal stories found only in history books and TV documentaries.
It wasn’t that way in the 1950s and the early 1960s when I was a kid growing up in Wadsworth, Ohio, and then Rialto, California. I knew World War II veterans. Some were family – my dad, in the Army Air Force’s Eighth Army toward the end of the war, an uncle, Jack Kelly who served in the American Army in Europe, and another uncle, Russell Snyder, a sailor in the Navy.
Nowadays, if I asked someone in their 20’s about Pearl Harbor or the Corregidor Death March or the Battle of the Bulge, they’d look at me with uncomprehending eyes. So many are quite content to wrap themselves in a blanket of ignorance.
Japan, Germany and Italy are now our allies. The Japanese – as well as the South Koreans – could soon be our allies in a war against North Korea. I fear that such a war could see casualties not seen since World War II. I’ve heard that up to 20,000 South Koreans could die per day in artillery barrages. Nerve-gas warheads on North Korean intermediate range missiles could rain down on Japanese cities. Longer-range missiles with chemical or biological warheads could be targeted at Guam and Hawaii. Even worse, if we miscalculate, ICBMs could hit any cities in city in the continental United States. North Korea is such a closed society it’s hard to tell just how advanced they are with placing working nuclear warheads on ICBMs. If they’re further along than we think, American cities could be incinerated. And even with our ABM technology, can we be sure we can destroy every incoming North Korean ICBM?
I don’t know about you, but I’m scared as hell. Back during the Second World War, British, German, Russian and Japanese civilians faced death from bombs dropped by bombers. Due to distance, American cities escaped the carnage. I fear we won’t escape it this time.
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I’m an author with four published novels that include a sword-and-sorcery fantasy trilogy – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The fourth novel is a historical romance set during the Civil War. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.