Is “Infamy” To Become The New Normal?

Throughout history there are certain dates that stand alone, that in the retelling need no year for clarity.  December 7th, September 11th, and now January 6th … when we hear those dates, we automatically remember who, what, why, when, and where.  These three stand-alone dates all represent days when the United States was brutally attacked:  Pearl Harbour, World Trade Center/Pentagon, and the Capitol/Congress.  The first two differ from the third only in that Pearl Harbour and the World Trade Center were attacked by other nations or groups outside the U.S., while the attack on January 6th came from within, rather like having your son or daughter viciously burn your own house down with you in it.  In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared December 7th to be “a day that will live in infamy.”  The same can and must be said about January 6th 2021.

So often we hear, “Well, whaddabout _____________?”, or “But both sides do it!”  And sometimes, to some extent depending on circumstances, that is true.  It’s call ‘moral equivalence’.  But there is not and cannot be any moral equivalency for what was done before, during, and after January 6th in an attempt to overthrow an election, overthrow a duly elected government, and destroy people’s lives.  This one, my friends, falls entirely on the shoulders of the Republican Party and their unofficial leader, one Donald Trump.  Kevin McCarthy said just this month …

“I think everybody in the country bears responsibility [for the January 6th attempted coup].

No, Mr. McCarthy … YOU, and Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and most every other Republican in and out of Congress bear the full weight of this one.

Not only did Donald Trump, as we now know, incite the riot at the Capitol on January 6th, but was also plotting numerous other illegal and unconstitutional tactics to overturn the election and overthrow our voices, our justly elected president Joe Biden.  Democrats did NOT do this, Independents did NOT do this – it was done by and at the behest of Republicans.

But as if that weren’t bad enough … the average John Doe Republican voter caught the spirit of the moment and set out to destroy … property, the nation, innocent lives, and more.  If you watched the four people who testified in yesterday’s televised hearing, you had to be moved.  All four told heartbreaking stories about receiving threats of violence, not only against themselves but their families as well.  You will have seen Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testifying that until very recently Trump supporters would drive around his neighborhood and falsely announce that he was a “pedophile” and a corrupt politician. He recounted an argument between a neighbor and a man with a pistol, and also talked about the reactions of his family …

“At the same time, on some of these, we had a daughter who was gravely ill who was upset by what was happening outside and my wife, that is a valiant person, very strong, quiet, very strong woman. So, it was disturbing.”

He fought the tears that we could see in his eyes.  What he didn’t mention was that his daughter died of her illness shortly thereafter.  My own eyes were suddenly in need of a tissue, as well.

The last testimony of the day was from Shaye Moss, a young woman who had been an election worker for some ten years prior to the 2020 election.  Ms. Moss was falsely accused, along with her mother, of carrying out a fake ballot scheme and Rudy Giuliani started the ball rolling when he called them professional vote scammers, allegations that led to death threats and intimidation, and forced them into hiding for a period of several weeks.  Both Ms. Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, spoke at the hearing yesterday and told of the ways in which they have been tormented and threatened.

“This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I — I don’t want anyone knowing my name. I don’t want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I gained about 60 pounds, I don’t do nothing anymore, I second-guess everything I do.  It’s affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies for me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.”

And her mother, Ruby, said …

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the President of the United States to target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Rudy, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stand up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”

This, folks, is what everyday Republicans are doing – to their own!!!  The first three to testify, Rusty Bowers, Brad Raffensperger, and Gabe Sterling were all Republicans!  The elected officials on the Republican side of the aisle keep the populace riled with hate-spewing rhetoric, but it is the average everyday white Republican who is allowing themselves to be manipulated into this horrific behaviour aimed at the very heart and spirit of the nation.  And in the past 24 hours, since yesterday’s televised hearing, there has been an increase in threats of violence against the members of the committee, leading to a security detail being assigned to each member.

For the record, in case any Republicans, or any others who still believe the Big Lie and are enamoured of Donald Trump:

DONALD TRUMP LOST THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!

Get over it and try to make something of your lives instead of living your life vicariously through your wishful dreams.

I hurt … I literally hurt for what this nation has become.  It’s like when Smokey the Bear used to say, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” … only WE THE PEOPLE can turn this around.  And if we don’t, if we fail, then our children and grandchildren will pay the hefty price.  I leave it to your imagination to figure out what that price will be.

Something To Think About

Pearl Harbour headlines

Seventy-nine years ago today the Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbour in Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing the United States into active participation in World War II.  2,403 men and women lost their lives that day, and another 1,178 were wounded.  A horrific loss of life to be sure, but why is it when we hear that number we are horrified, and yet as many people are dying of a deadly pandemic every day, yet few even take notice?

The average person in 1941 was powerless to stop the attack on Pearl Harbour, but each and every one of us have the power to help stop the spread of the coronavirus simply by only going out when necessary, wearing a mask, washing our hands frequently, and keeping our distance from others.  If only the attack on Pearl Harbour could have been stopped that easily.  Have we simply become inured to the daily death toll, or do we truly no longer care about the people who are dying unless they are close to us on a personal level?

Perhaps it stems from a lack of leadership.  In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man of conscience and honour, was president, while today’s president is neither of those things, and has even encouraged citizens to go forth and spread their germs just as he himself has done.  On Saturday, 2,256 people died from the coronavirus in the U.S., 10,191 worldwide.  In total, the U.S. has lost 289,183 lives to the virus this year, and still some people deny that it exists and refuse to take reasonable precautions.  They risk not only their own lives, but those of every person they come in contact with.  The men and women at Pearl Harbour on that day jumped into action to try to save as many lives as possible.  Today, people in this country are more concerned with their “right” to go to a bar, a church, or a beach sans mask, to pick up an airborne germ and carry it home to their children, their elderly relatives, and others.  How times have changed.

The Day That Lives On — December 7, 1941

On this day in 1941, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

Today, I came across a piece on the Jon S. Randall Peace Page about one of the heroines of that day, and I thought it a good thing to share with you …

On December 7, 1941, Japanese dive-bombers and Zero fighters screamed overhead at Pearl Harbor and Army hospitals on the island were overwhelmed with burn victims. At Hickam Air Field Station Hospital, amid the noise and confusion, dealing with shortages of supplies and even beds, one woman stood out, working ceaselessly and calmly despite the enormous loss of life around her.

First Lieutenant Annie G. Fox, Chief Nurse at the hospital, assisted in surgical procedures, administered pain medicine to the injured and prepped some for travel to nearby hospitals when the 30-bed facility was overwhelmed.

She was one of many recognized for their exemplary service on that tragic day in American history, and she would become the first US service woman to receive the Purple Heart, which she received for her actions during the attack.

Even though she was not wounded, at that time, the US military awarded Purple Hearts for “singularly meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity or essential service.”

But, two years after being awarded the Purple Heart, the criteria was changed to only those who received wounds by enemy action. Her Purple Heart was rescinded, and she was instead awarded the Bronze Star medal on October 6th, 1944, using the same citation for the Purple Heart originally awarded to her.

Fox was born on August 4, 1893 in Pubnico, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.

There is not a lot of information on Fox online, but according to the War Time Heritage Association, “she served during the First World War from July 8, 1918 to July 14, 1920 and in the Second World War. Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s she served in New York, Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Fort Mason in San Diego, California, and Camp John Hay in Benguet and Manila in the Philippines. After sometime back in the Continental US, she was assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii in May of 1940. She was granted an examination for the promotion to Chief Nurse on August 1, 1941, promoted to 1st Lieutenant and transferred to Hickam field in November of 1941.”

After Pearl Harbor, Fox was awarded the Purple Heart on October 26, 1942 for her “outstanding performance of duty.”

The citation read:

“During the attack, Lieutenant Fox in an exemplary manner, performed her duties as head nurse of the Station Hospital . . . [She] worked ceaselessly with coolness and efficiency and her fine example of calmness, courage, and leadership was of great benefit to the morale of all with whom she came in contact.”

Although her Purple Heart was replaced with the Bronze Star, “the United States Armed Forces still recognizes Lt. Annie G. Fox as the first woman to ever have been awarded the Purple Heart medal,” according to the Purple Heart Foundation.

The Foundation states, “At 47 years old, Lt. Fox was for the first time placed in the middle of battle. There was gunfire, bombs detonating, and the sound of airplanes whipping over the hospital. It was not long after the attack began that the Japanese pilots turned their attention near Hickam Field and Station Hospital. While the “hellfire” rained down outside the hospital, Lt. Fox cleared her mind and jumped into action. She assembled her nurses and sought after volunteers from the base community to help her look after the wounded that started to arrive.”

Fox, according to the Wartime Heritage Association, “went on to be promoted to the rank of Captain [on] May 26, 1943 after transferring to Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, California. Annie Fox had a number of posts in the Army Nurse Corps serving as Assistant to the Principal Chief Nurse at Camp Phillips, Kansas. She served at Camp Kansas from 1943 to 1944. While there she was promoted to the rank of Major. Prior to her retirement from active duty December 15, 1945 she also served at Fort Francis E Warren in Wyoming. She eventually settled in San Diego, California where two of her sisters resided. She never married.”

She died on January 20, 1987 in San Francisco, California at the age of 93.

In March 2017, Hawaii Magazine ranked her among a list of the most influential women in Hawaiian history.

According to the Wartime Heritage Association, “regardless of the [Purple Heart’s] evolution over time or what it was decided would be awarded based on the circumstances, it is clear Fox acted with great heroism, courage and service to her fellow servicemen and women.”Annie-Fox

07 December 1941

FDRYesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has therefore undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt