James Lambert
On its 70th anniversary, America remembers the heroes of Pearl Harbor
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By James Lambert
December 7, 2011

Seventy years ago this day (on December 7th, 1941) America was forever changed by the surprise attack of Japanese forces on our naval base at Pearl Harbor (Honolulu), Hawaii.

Douglas Scripps McKellar, a young radio station news broadcaster remembers that day in December well. Working for radio station KGU in Honolulu on that fateful morning, McKellar, according to his younger brother Jim, was one of the first radio broadcasters to report the horrific attack that pushed America into World War II. Like many WWII veterans, Doug McKellar has since passed on. Jim was a college student at Stanford University at the time but was also later enlisted into military service.

Jim joined the growing number of enlisted men who were called up to respond to the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. By the summer of 1942 thousands of military recruits from all over the country were ordered to report to bases like Camp Elliot and Camp Callan located in Southern California. One of those recruits was Jim Lambert, a grocery store entrepreneur from Henderson, KY. Like thousands of others from around the country, he would move to Southern California because of his military call to service. Ultimately, Southern California became a large staging area for future invasions by US soldiers during the war.

Today, the Pearl Harbor attack is being recognized by 120 returning U.S. Navy World War II and Pearl Harbor survivors. The Navy is commemorating the event with a special "missing man" fly-over.

The attack on that fateful day seventy years ago sank 21 ships and destroyed over 300 aircraft. The merciless bombardment conducted that morning by the Japanese Imperial Navy and its air fleet killed more than 2400 people and wounded 1,178. In his famous speech given on December 8th, 1941 in Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt referred to the Pearl Harbor attack as a "day of infamy." Certainly it was.

The damage done from the attack lasted a little more than 2 hours but it dragged America into a war where over 500,000 Americans were ultimately killed.

America was to change forever on that fateful day 70 years ago. Today, we should all be thankful that our country had the courage to repel and defeat the cruel regimes of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. I can only pray that we continue to learn from our own history.

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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