Seventy-Six Years After

Thursday was the seventy-sixth anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. On the day following the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy” and it does, even though public events marking the day are decreasing. That’s to be expected as the number of people with personal memories of the day gets a little smaller each year and other horrible events occupy the memories of following generations.

The town of New Richmond, Ohio, holds a Pearl Harbor Remembrance event each year on the Sunday preceding December 7. When it began, about thirty years ago, approximately twenty-five Pearl Harbor survivors attended from the surrounding area. For my first time there, in 2011, just three remained and only one, Joe Whitt, was healthy enough to be there. The others have since passed on while Joe, at 94, continues to attend the event and share his memories.

This year I also attended an event on the actual anniversary of the bombing. The VFW Post 7696 event at West Chester Township’s Brookside Cemetery was the only one that turned up in an online search. Things began with a recounting of key events surrounding the attack.

A Soldier’s Cross ceremony followed. A bayoneted rifle is thrust into the ground then “dog tags” are hung from it. Boots are then placed in front of the rifle and the cross completed with a helmet placed atop the rifle. The event concluded with a rifle volley and the playing of Taps.

This year’s Pearl Harbor Remem-brance Day was  a little bit different for me by virtue of having visited Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial for the first time in the spring. The opening photo of the Arizona’s anchor is from that visit as are the three on the right. My journal for the visit is here..

The singing of a familiar medley of service songs was part of Sunday’s activities in New Richmond. As the songs associated with each of the five US military branches was performed, veterans of the branch stood. It seemed to me that close to half of the crowd stood at some point. Later, one of the speakers asked all WW II veterans to raise their hands. I counted three including Joe Whitt.

Trip Peek #64
Trip #40
Memphis & MO

This picture is from my 2005 Memphis and MO trip. This was an outing cobbled together to fill the time between Christmas and New Year’s but which ended up extending a couple of days into 2006. The picture is of Billy Tripp’s Mind Field in Brownsville, Tennessee, which I was seeing for the first time. I have seen it several times since then and watched it continue to grow. This was also the first time I met fellow road fan Alex Burr in person. He still lived in Maine at the time but was visiting Memphis when I passed through. From Memphis, I followed US-61 to Saint Louis and spent New Year’s Eve with Route 66 friends in Rolla, Missouri, at a motel/restaurant that is no longer with us. Even sadder, one of those friends is no longer with us, either. Another first for me was a stop at John’s Modern Cabins on the way home.


By coincidence, this Trip Peek was randomly selected for publication just days after another visit to Billy Tripp’s Mindfield. The journal for the most recent visit is here.


Trip Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the associated trip journal.