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This day in history: December 8

FDR speaks to Congress

Dec 8, 1941 – Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks to Congress (excerpts)
“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our People – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Original Army newspaper, his old watch, and a Purple Heart. Pretty awesome

Dec 8, 2001 – My grandfather passes away
I joined the USAF on Sept 11, 2001 and graduated boot Nov 3, 2001 where my family, including my grandfather came out to see. It was a sigh of relief to see my family after this leap into the military world, and even better, this gave me the gateway for which I was to learn all about my grandfather’s exploits in the Army and in the Pacific. Little did I know that this was the last time I would see him alive. If I had known that he would have had to beat be back with a stick from picking his brain too much.

We never really talked. He had a quiet reserve about him and when he finally spoke it was for a comment out of left field or to tell you something that you would need to know. He had a dry, quippy sense of humor and a smirk that I could not get enough of. He loved ALF, the 1980’s sitcom, he loved his cat Bobby, and he loved to sit out back and watch the leaves blow. He taught me how to shoot a BB gun and bought me one for at his house since mom would never allow it. We would set up targets downstairs in the basement and fire away until we ran out of CO2.

I last talked to him on Thanksgiving when he was complaining of his neck hurting. I could hear it in his voice that the fall had hurt him pretty bad, but I thought nothing of it because he seemed like a tough ol bugger. He asked how things were going and once again I could’ve talked his ear off. I told him I loved him, he said “uh huh, love you too” real low and that was the last time I talked to him.

I went on from San Antonio to Monterey, CA for training and had begun my first month of class when the Military Training Leader came in to my class and said I needed to go see the Base Commander and the Chaplain. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the only reason the Chaplain and the Commander need to see you is bc something has happened. The whole walk over to Command, I kept running scenarios through my mind, “what happened? Who’s hurt? Who’s been killed?” It was one of the longest walks of my life, continued by one of the longest flights I would ever have. 25 hours to Afghanistan is cake compared to this one.

Pop got to see me in uniform twice, once at boot Graduation and twice as I saluted him while the Color Guard played Taps at his funeral. I miss that old man and always think back to the conversations we were never allowed to have. I am just know finding out about his military days through my grandmother and my hopes are to uncover more of his time on Guadalcanal and Peleliu if I can. The last picture I have with him includes my brother, dad, and pop with some shades on and that smirk.

True inspiration

Dec 8, 2010 – Pat Tillman is inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame
Despite what you may think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite what you think about how his death came to public knowledge, you CANNOT deny the legacy of a man like Pat Tillman. A one-time NFL player for the AZ Cardinals who answered a call to duty in the Army, leaving behind millions and the easy life. He traded all that in for a life so far the opposite of what he was afforded that he was often criticized and misunderstood. All this however should not overshadow his sacrifice and his inspiration. I spent many a night in the Pat Tillman USO on Bagram AB in Afghanistan with my crew and other troops. I loved going to that place and was glad that it was named in his honor.

Excerpt from AZCentral.com
“NEW YORK – Pat Tillman was among 14 former players and coaches to be inducted in the college hall at the National Football Foundation’s award banquet Tuesday night.

Tillman played linebacker for ASU from 1994-97 and went on to an NFL career with the Cardinals. After three season in the NFL, he enlisted in the Army. He was killed in Afghanistan in April 2004, a victim of friendly fire, though the military at first said he died in an ambush.

“I think Pat would be really honored to be included with such a distinguished and talented class,” said Tillman’s widow, Marie. “All of his friends and family are really proud to see his accomplishments on the field honored in this way.”

She said her favorite memory of Pat’s playing days was the game the Sun Devils won to earn a bid to the 1997 Rose Bowl.

“It was just one of those really exciting events as a fan to be in the stadium and the energy and excitement was such a great thing to be a part of.”

Today was and always will be quite a day.

  1. December 10, 2010 at 10:10
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