Our Opinion: Remembering bravery, sacrifice of Pearl Harbor

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Editor’s Note: In recognition of American troops’ bravery and sacrifice following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, The Wilson Times is republishing two Times editorials written in the attack’s immediate aftermath.


One thing that this country needs and needs badly is an all-out understanding that in unity is strength, and that in the face of peril, America must stand as one man with the government for its defense. So the war with Japan will unite America and bring our folks to their senses.

Every workingman, every congressman and every citizen must place his home and his country ahead of everything else, for he cannot have a home without a country and he must be prepared to make sacrifices and to fight, if need be, to save America from the horde of savages that afflict Europe and Asia, that are following the heathenish leaders that have a tremendous grip on the people of the world, their ideology and their economic condition.

Their ideology is chaos, and since self-preservation is the first thought of nature and the natural man calls for food, shelter and other necessities of life, we must make good in that for the people of the world before we can bring order out of chaos in the world or in our own country.

Unless we can destroy the terrible propaganda such as communish, nazism, fascism and extreme socialism that has destroyed the real common-sense thinking of the world, we can never hope to stabilize the world either economically, mentally or spiritually.

We must begin at the beginning and think on God and His religion (which is found in the Bible), God’s message to man, and change our attitude about many things and get down to brass tacks, and a practical basis, if ever the world shall be saved, and the best and finest things which we have taken a hundred and fifty years to build shall survive. In prayer and meditation, salvation must come to the world.

Published Dec. 8, 1941


The most unfortunate thing that has happened to America in a long time is the state of unpreparedness in which she found herself when war finally overtook her. The events of that tragic Sunday dawn in Hawaii showed a woeful lack of watchfulness, and in the face of things, before the facts were known, seemed a disgrace to our brave men.

When our men realized what was happening, they acquitted themselves the finest, bravest heroes any nation could want. And of this we are very proud and on this we rest confidently our hope for the security of the future.

Men as brave as ours deserved a better chance than they had at Pearl Harbor. The accounting of the personal bravery of soldiers and sailors in that startled hour makes a proud epic that will go down in history as a credit to our country.

There is nothing of which to be ashamed at Pearl Harbor. A number of boys gave up their lives in line of battle there. Wilson County has boys there. And there is not one shadow on their behavior that day. We are prouder than ever of them.

We have examples of individual bravery that are most stirring: four ensigns taking a destroyer out to sea in pursuit of the enemy handling the ship like veterans. Sick and wounded forcibly leaving the hospital ship to return to line of duty. Wives of navy men rushing into danger to attend the wounded and help in the defense of Pearl Harbor.

There was no panic, no lack of coordination. Caught off guard, the fleet went into action like clockwork.

So, we say, those men deserve an investigation, because the investigation will prove their personal bravery, their individual efficiency. It is only fair to let the world know there was no dereliction in line of duty. We think every man will come through the investigation unblemished because every man did what he should do.

Published Dec. 17, 1941