Jaevin Cumberland is shown with Oakland University. (Photo courtesy of http://www.goldengrizzlies.com/)
Jaevin Cumberland is shown with Oakland University. (Photo courtesy of http://www.goldengrizzlies.com/)
Earlier this year, President Obama brought attention to the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the target of the first atom bomb, which was dropped by the United States on Aug. 6, 1945. A second bombing of Nagasaki three days later forced Japan’s surrender and brought an end to World War II.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the United States will observe the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. One can hope that President Obama – and all Americans – will give this moment its full due respect and remembrance.

The Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one of those defining moments in world history.

As reported by www.history.navy.mil: “America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant. Eighteen months earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese aggression.

“By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan’s diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

“The U.S. Fleet’s Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World’s oceans. Its planes hit just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7. Within a short time, five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2,400 Americans were dead.

“The memory of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on. Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan’s striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.”

Seventy-five years ago, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941 at 8:06 a.m., a bomb landed on the USS Arizona’s forward decks, igniting 500 tons of explosives stored in the powder magazine. Even though the ship burned for two days, the Arizona sank in just nine minutes.

The USS Arizona had more than 1 million gallons of fuel when the first bomb struck. About two quarts of this fuel surfaces every day.

From Wikipedia: “These oil droplets are called ‘Black Tears’ by Pearl Harbor survivors. The bond between the shipmates aboard USS Arizona went way past being mere comrades. When the ship went down, 37 sets of brothers went down with it. Every 15 seconds a drop of oil still rises from the Arizona and drifts to the surface.”

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, was built in 1962 and marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941.

This week, Canton Repository editor-at-large Gary Brown writes about Adone "Cal" Calderone of Massillon, Ohio, who was on board the USS West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941. (http://www.cantonrep.com/news/20161204/75th-anniversary-of-pearl-harbor-last-survivor-adone-cal-calderone-speaks)

"It was a bad day. Six battleships were hit pretty hard," Calderone said. "We lost 2,400 men in 15 minutes. We had 1,300 wounded. By 2020, there won't be any (survivors). I lost many good friends over there."

Please pause to remember Pearl Harbor Day this week, and remember all those men and women who are serving and who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

* * *

• On a lighter topic, it was downright comical to watch ABC's George Stephanopoulos grill VP-elect Mike Pence Sunday about President-elect Donald Trump's recent claims that millions of people voted illegally in the general election.

Stephanopoulos seemed on the verge of a shingles outbreak as he repeatedly challenged the Trump claim.

To his credit, Pence held his own, pointing out: "What is historic here is that our president-elect won 30 of 50 states. He won more counties than any candidate on our side since Ronald Reagan. And the fact that some partisans, who are frustrated with the outcome of the election and disappointed with the outcome of the election, are pointing to the popular vote, I can assure you, if this had been about the popular vote, Donald Trump and I would have been campaigning a whole lot more in Illinois and California and New York."

Since leaving the Clinton administration, Stephanopoulos has been a liberal lapdog journalist for the past 20 years. The Trump/Pence administration can expect more of the same treatment. Of course, they can just point to the U.S. county-by-county vote map and have Stephanopoulos and his brethren seeing red all over again.

As they say in that state up north, "Hail to the Victors."

* * *

• Last week, The Highland County Press reported that Cincinnati Christian High School senior Brady Roberts has accepted a golf scholarship to play for Taylor University in Indiana.

Roberts was the Division III Player of the Year in golf for the Southwest Ohio District. He also has qualified for the Ohio High School Golf State Tournament while competing for Cincinnati Christian, where he also plays on the varsity basketball team.

Brady is the son of Mark and Nancy Roberts, formerly of Hillsboro, and the grandson of Phil and Carol Roberts of Hillsboro.

Two other student-athletes with local ties are having good college basketball seasons with their respective universities.

Wilmington High School graduates and cousins Jaevin Cumberland and Jarron Cumberland are playing for Oakland University and the University of Cincinnati, respectively.

Jaevin scored five points in the Golden Grizzlies' recent 78-68 win over Southern Utah.

Meanwhile, Jarron led all UC scorers in the Bearcats' 91-68 victory over the Lipscomb Bisons, finishing with 17 points and three steals at Fifth Third Arena last week.

Jaevin is the son of Dwaine and Shannon Cumberland. Jarron is the son of Scott and Cheryl Cumberland. Dwaine and Scott were standouts for the Hillsboro Indians varsity basketball team.

Congratulations and best wishes for Brady, Jaevin and Jarron.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.