“The evil in man is of gigantic proportions.” – Carl Jung
On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, a ceremony was held on board the “USCGC Taney,” docked at pier 5, (710 E. Pratt Street), in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The focus of the proceedings was to remember, and to never forget, Japan’s lethal and inexcusable attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941; and to honor our “Fallen Heroes” from that onslaught.
That sneak assault took place 75 years ago. President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt speaking for an aggrieved and furious nation labeled it, “a date which will live in infamy,” the next day in a speech before the U.S. Congress.
The “Taney’s” memorial program featured: speakers; an honor guard; presentation of colors; veterans of the attack itself; the playing of taps; a rifle salute; a wreath being dropped into the waters of the harbor; and, the singing of the National Anthem by Joseph DiCara. It was sponsored by “Historic Ships in Baltimore.”
The event started at noon and ran to about 1 p.m. Veterans and active duty Coast Guards and Maryland National Guard members also participated.
Alan Walden served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Backstory: The murderous air and naval assault by Japan on December 7, was mostly directed at the vessels of the U.S. Navy. It cost the lives of 2,403 brave Americans, including 1,177 crew members of the “USS Arizona.” The latter were trapped inside the vessel. The unfortunate “Arizona” was almost immediately sunk by the enemies’ fighter planes by direct hits on it with numerous bombs and torpedoes.
Japan was hoping to land a knock-out punch on that day on America’s Naval forces in the Pacific. Experts speculate that it would have led eventually to terror attacks on our West Coast cities and worse. Mercifully, Japan’s Imperial forces failed! However, the Pearl Harbor attack did cause the U.S. to declare war on Japan.
Supposedly, one of Japan’s Admirals, Isoroku Yamamoto, is reported to have said of the failed attack: “I fear all we have done is to awaken the sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
I wonder if that will be the case, too, when our America finally finds out who was really behind 9/11? Stay tuned.
To learn more about Japan’s criminal behavior during that bloody era, beginning in the early 1930s, including its attack on Pearl Harbor, click here.
Even after the U.S. dropped its first A-bomb, on one of Japan’s largest cities, Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, its deranged Warlords still refused to surrender. It was only after a second A-bomb hit the city of Nagasaki, three days later, that they finally caved in.
Although, I was a child at the time of Pearl Harbor, I do remember some WWII stories from the Pacific that came out later. In particular, a front page drawing in our local newspaper of an Australian prisoner getting his head cut off by a Japanese soldier with a long sword. It’s still vivid in my memory.
Much later on, I found out more about the barbaric treatment American prisoners-of war suffered while captives of the Japanese. A dear friend of mine from Baltimore, the late Harry C. Agro, spent three years of his life in one of their notorious hell holes. His heroic story of survival can be found here.
In conclusion, the “Taney” is the last surviving floating vessel from Japan’s premeditated attack on Pearl Harbor. It now serves as a “museum vessel.” On that fateful day, however, she was moored, “at Pier 6,” in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu. To check out more of the Taney’s legendary history, click here.
For more of my photos click here.
Photos by Bill Hughes, top photo: the USCGC Taney
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1