Pearl Harbor Tribute
December 7, 2003, 7:55 AM (time first posted to this site)
Mr. Bill Rudder of Gastonia, NC, who was at Hickam Field, Hawaii when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, gave this verse to me. It was penned by a survivor of the attack and sums up the mood of those at the scene. They may have lost that battle but the spirit of our young men was anything but defeated.
Here's to those who awoke that Sunday morning to find themselves at war. This is especially for the memory of those who didn't survive, not only on that fateful day but to all who have sacrificed their lives on the battlefield in defense of our nation.
To You Our Fallen
The Barracks now are silent-
Where once your laughter rang.
The steel guitar is broken-
Where around your bunks we sang.
As the stars give way to morning-
In Oahu's' cloud swept sky,
Old Glory's proudly waving there-
Seeped in heroes crimson dye!
Can you hear us, there in heaven-
As the Dawn Patrol takes flight?
On slivery wings your memory soars-
In Holy Freedoms fight!
The Kona wind blows softly now,
The Palm trees whisper low-
But all America will remember,
Whence came this Dastards blow!
Let the Nipponese remember this,
As they cringe beneath the sky-
At Hickam's' flaming vengeance,
For You, the first to die!
Joe Brimm (1942)
Notice the tattered flag. By Mr. Rudder's account it had received direct hits from a Japanese fighter's guns.