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Patriotic Article
War and Tragedy
By C. Douglas Caffey

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Remember Pearl Harbor
(April 9, 2009)

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I shall always remember December 7, 1941. I had just turned fifteen a month before, and even then I wanted to go to war. From that date onward, my great desire was to avenge my country of that dastardly deed by the enemy. That date marks the time when flying became a part of my vocabulary. I collected all the models of all our military aircraft and hung them from the ceiling in my room and memorized all the data pertaining to each.

I lived and breathed airplanes which, one day, would strike Japan a blow from which they would never recover. I did not know anything about an atomic bomb, and even Einstein likely had no thoughts, at that time, about the atomic age yet to come into existence. But I grew, studied hard, read all the magazines relating to war in the Pacific, and one day, at age 17, graduated first in my class and was already in the Army Specialized Training Program (known as ASTP) and off to Davidson College, NC in uniform training in Mathematics, Physics, Navigation, war psychology, physical fitness, Chemistry, and drill, for sixty hours a week. I grew up fast and with an inner desire to avenge our country from an enemy who dared to strike our battle fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. My great ambition was to strike Japan a blow from which she would not recover. It so happened that I became a member of the Army Air Corps, and specifically the 509th Composite Bomb Group, which dropped two atomic bombs of Japan, causing Japan to surrender unconditionally a week later.

Now that I am over 80 years of age, I find that my focus remains the same, that is, to avenge America of wrongs committed by our enemies. I still love airplanes and flying, and though I'm not seventeen any more, my heart is young and my desire remains to chase Liberty and Freedom for all America. I fly the flag of my country each day where I live, and am not ashamed to show the world where I stand with respect to Freedom. I would die for my country and I would gladly fly an airplane on a mission of peace and Freedom, counting not the cost of such a sacred mission.

Yes! I remember Pearl Harbor, for I am an American.

I have had PTSD now for over sixty years, and I consider all the night mares I've known during that time, as a necessary evil, because of a world gone crazy over power and prestige. Yes! I do remember Pearl Harbor and if I ever forget those who died there, my memories will crumble and fall in on my desolate soul. I am an American, now concerned about internal decline of a nation that once was eager to defend our way of life. Oh, that America still remembered what happened at Pearl sixty-five years ago today. I choose to REMEMBER, for I am an American! May God throw my tears to the wind if I should ever forget Pearl Harbor!

By C. Douglas Caffey
Copyright 2006

Author's Bio:
C. Douglas Caffey is a disabled veteran of WWII. He served (1944-1946) in the 509th Composite Bomb Group, 58th Wing, Air Photo Unit, 20th Air Force, United States Army Air Force. It was the 509th who dropped the atomic bombs on Japan and did the atom bomb tests at Bikini in the Pacific. A chronic sufferer of PTSD since WWII, Doug is a former college dean. He started writing poetry several years ago and though he doesn't claim to be a poet, he does claim to write from the heart.

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