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Peral Harbor

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Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every

thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes.

I went into a small gift shop to kill time. In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert

in Washington D.C.

He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.

When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the

Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.

There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have

thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the

destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where

you looked.

As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked,

Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"

Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an

attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do

you think it was?"

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying

the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"

Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of

every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships

had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead

of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in

a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once

bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.

If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow everyone of

those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in

shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks

and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed

them to America.

And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war

is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill.

One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel


That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack

force could make, or God was taking care of America.

I've never forgotten what I read in that little book.

It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.

In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and

raised in Fredricksburg, Texas -- he was a born optimist.

But anyway you look at it--Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining

in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and


President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job.

We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst

of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.

There is a reason that our national motto is, "IN GOD WE TRUST."

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Nice one Qman. I visit the Nimitz Museum in Fredricksberg every year. Just use it as a reminder of why we are where we are as a country and people. The museum is a sobering reminder for this old vet.....H O O O A A A H H H. It's an Army thing!

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