Remembering Pearl Harbor

December 7, 2010 – A date for memorials around the nation. One, symbolic of the many, was held in Sacramento, California, on the 69th anniversary of the attack. It was jointly conducted by members of the Submarine Veterans of WWII and U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc.
The ceremony was to honor those who gave their lives during the attack and to perpetuate their memories; a wreath was laid in the Sacramento River from a Yolo County Sheriff’s Department boat.

As stated at the Tuesday morning event, submarine crews made up two percent of the Navy but accounted for 55% of the Japanese ships sunk in the Pacific. The subs sank 4,000 enemy ships, but at quite a severe price. While in the Pacific, eight percent of Army soldiers were fatalities and 12% of Marines were killed, the “Silent Service” lost 20% of their personnel; 52 submarines were lost with 3,600 crew and officers.

The present was also on the minds of the attendees as one former submariner was heard to comment that today the U.S. is building two submarines a year and China is building five submarines a year.

U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc., has nearly 14,000 members and U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II has 3,600 members.
(Note: Spending time, before and after the ceremony, with these submariners, brings me to again repeat: Veterans who aren’t members of any organization of their fellow veterans, or who don’t gather together, are really missing something.)