Seventy-four years ago the Japanese launched an attack on Pearl Harbor. Nearly 2,500 Americans were killed, and the sneak attack was one of the key factors leading to The United States of America entering WWII.
When I think of Pearl Harbor, and all of the lives lost, I often find myself thinking of Messmen Third Class. Doris “Dorie” Miller who, after assisting in the care of his mortally wounded ship’s captain, Mervyn Bennion, manned a .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun.
After he had exhausted the weapon’s ammunition, he went on to continue assisting his wounded shipmates until the ship finally sank. He is credited with saving lives that might have been lost without his help.
For his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, presented Miller with the Navy Cross, which at the time was the Navy’s third highest award for gallantry during combat.
Sadly, despite his brave actions, Dorie Miller returned to combat action aboard the escort carrier Liscome Bay, and on November 24 1943 the ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo.
Petty Officer, Ship′s Cook Third Class, Doris Miller was listed among the ship’s missing, and presumed dead. His parents were informed on December 7, 1943 that their son was missing in action.
Can you imagine? Their son is a hero survivor of Pearl Harbor, and just two years later, on the anniversary of his heroism, his family is given the horrific news that he is gone…
Wars have taken many American lives over the centuries, and sadly many more will be lost in the future. How many of our nation’s lost survived countless horrors, and even injuries while watching people around them being destroyed before their eyes, only to be killed in future combat? How sad is that?
God Bless the men and women, past present and future that fight to protect the rights many of us are so willing to throw away out of fear, or ignorance. Take the time to learn about the things you oppose.
Find out why ALL of our rights are important. Even the ones you choose not to exercise. Respond to tragedies from a sense of knowledge rather than fear, because people like Dorie Miller gave their lives to help ensure your freedom!