We owe the Greatest Generation
To the editor:
I read Chloe Gilchrist's Semester at Sea column in Monday's paper about her trip to Hiroshima, Japan.
Her comment calling the United States ruthless for using the atomic bomb on a Japanese city that had not been previously bombed so we could monitor the destruction of "Little Boy," our new atomic weapon, I think is from a young person not knowing the full story.
I wonder whether the Japanese memorial had photos of our fleet at Pearl Harbor after the sneak attack on Dec. 7, 1941, which the Japanese had done. This terrible plotted attack plunged the United States into World War II. This happened, no less, on a peaceful Sunday morning.
Many of our sailors were killed in their bunks while sleeping.
As a matter of fact, I am from Missouri. I personally knew Howard Burk. He was one of the less than 400 men who survived from the battleship USS Arizona when it blew up. He swam through burning oil saving another sailor while the Japanese "Zero" fighters machine-gunned them.
I think Gilchrist should study a little more history of World War II. I suggest she go to the library and read the "Flags of our Fathers" story of the six marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima and also about the Bataan Death March. See what happened to our brave soldiers and how the Japanese treated them. We used the atomic bomb because our military commanders and President Truman decided that the projected one million casualties on the invasion of Japan to try to end the war was too great a price.
Our young people do not realize how close we came to losing World War II. How much we owe the Greatest Generation that fought to keep our freedom.
My birthday is Dec. 7. I have an uncle who is 90 years old. He has told me of what he saw in World War II.
As a matter of fact, he was an interpreter for Gen. Patton and Gen. Clark and fought in Europe, where he helped liberate the concentration camp Dachau, where the Germans were murdering the Jews.
I know firsthand about the war. Our schools should teach the story on what really happened.
The Japanese have taken a lot of our work and economy. How many Japanese cars do you see around Craig? People should buy American-made products for no other reason than to respect our Greatest Generation, who fought to keep our way of life.