Saturday, July 16, 2016

A poem by Gary G Pelow, South Pacific

It began on the islands, a cowardly attack that killed over one thousand men, the Japanese had decided to pick a fight with an angry, sleeping bear, a bear that fully awakened would seek revenge and blood.  The United States did not want this war in the South Pacific,  it was thrust upon us by an empire that tried to cripple us at sea, they underestimated the Americans and their resolve to never surrender and their willingness to give the lives of their sons in the name of freedom.  My father, Richard was one of those sons, a son in the Navy, he was called to action and he bravely went to war, to fight those who had brought violence to a territory of the United States.  My father in his bravery went to war on a battleship, a sailor of courage and conviction, the conviction that the enemy must be completely destroyed until they totally surrender.  The South Pacific is a very large, watery battleground of the ocean, it is a place of great beauty marred by the blood and violence of man, there were many savage battles to move toward the main prize and goal, the Japanese homeland, the Island itself, this was the goal, to fight inch by inch toward the this prize, this victory was bloody and slow in coming.  Suicidal Japanese pilots not afraid to dies in the name of their emperor, it is not easy to fight an enemy that is not afraid to die and even looks forward to death and the eternal paradise and glory that they believe will come with death.  How do you fight such an enemy, an enemy that believes that surrender is not possible and death in battle would occur without surrender.  The brave Navy sailors and United States Marines fought inch by inch, mile by mile, island hopping to drive out the enemy who were entrenched in underground bunker or cave, it is not easy to fight an enemy that is hidden beneath hundreds of meters of rock and cement.  The Japanese were like an infestation of roaches, and sometimes the only way to kill those roaches under the rock was using a flame thrower, to burn and destroy everything alive in those caves and bunkers.  My father as a sailor said to see such things made him both angry and sad, he did not want this war, he did not enjoy killing other human beings, but this violence was needed to win and my father did not shirk his duty, he fought on the battleship, as the U.S. marines were spilling blood on the sandy shores of many islands that dotted the sea, victory no doubt would eventually come, but when? There were thousand of islands, a never ending sea, to fight on this battlefield was no easy feat, it would cost a lot in blood both for the Americans and the Japanese, both sides were being mauled to death by each other, even after the surrender of Hitler and his suicide in Europe ended that field of war, the Battles in the South Pacific looked like they could drag on for one or two more years with heavy prices to be made by America and Japan in blood.  Science intervened, it had created a monster of heat, energy, radiation, a terrible new weapon that was used twice to destroy Nagasaki and Hiroshima, that forced a surrender by Japan and the emperor was no longer a god in the eyes of the Japanese, and the blood letting was over.

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