Bill Harding: Remembering Pearl Harbor

Friday marks 66th anniversary of sneak attack

— Just a reminder that the United States flag should be flown be at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Friday for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Friday marks the 66th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, which took this nation into World War II. Four days later, in 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, as well.

This is the last time that this nation and all its residents felt the effect of a global war for democracy. Sacrifices were made both overseas and the on home front as our way of life, and the nations of Western Europe, North Africa and the Pacific Rim struggled against the combined military aggression of the Axis powers.

Some of those things included:

• Food rationing: Red Stamps, Blue stamps, coffee

• Shoes

• Victory gardens and home canning

• Sugar rations

• Food pricing

• Mileage and gas rations, including tires and speed limits of 35 mph

• Local ration board approvals

• Rosie the Riveter

If you've never heard of such issues, stop and talk with someone older than 70 years of age. They know what it is to face a threat to their way of life, and the sacrifices made by all so the enemies could be defeated.

We, as the people back home, haven't felt the sacrifice on being "at war" since the 1950s and have prospered based on the sacrifices of "The Greatest Generation."

Today, unless we have loved ones serving, it doesn't seem like we are at war. One that started a series of sneak attacks on our institutions, diplomatic residences, naval ships, and then culminated in an aerial attack in our country using our commercial airlines and the passengers on board as bombs. Whether we like it or not, we have been at war since Sept. 11 and the enemy doesn't care who dies in their quest to subjugate everyone to their extreme position in the name of a religion. Even members of that religious faith but of another family, tribe or sect deserve to die as infidels. And while we debate "bringing our troops home", they are testing our resolve as a nation while planning their next strike against us.

New Veteran Affairs secretary nominated

President Bush has nominated retired Lt. General James Peake as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Peake is a West Point graduate and decorated Vietnam veteran, who retired after serving 40 years in the US Army in 2004. This nomination now goes before the US Senate for confirmation.

Craig Telehealth Clinic Flu Shot turnouts

Turnout for the flu shots for veterans in Craig was below projected usage. In October, because of the news releases regarding the availability of vaccine, the scheduled clinic was affected. In November, there was as low turnout. The clinic was giving shots on a walk-in basis in between and will still give shots until early February. Be advised that it takes about two weeks for the shot to work, so if you get a shot now, it will be two weeks or so until you are protected.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only. Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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