History teaches valuable lessons

16 years ago

To the editor:
    Regarding the 63rd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was a horrific occasion. However, Japan was not ready to surrender and it was estimated that America would suffer 1 million casualties in fighting the fanatical Japanese soldiers all the way to Tokyo.     My dad’s youngest brother sailed out of San Francisco after dark for the 21-day trip to Australia. His outfit was moved up to New Guinea, which had a lot of Japanese troops and they kept landing reinforcements. My uncle Waldo said the Australians were fearless jungle fighters and General MacArthur did not give the Aussies the credit that they deserved.
    At this time Japan had pulled the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, in what President Roosevelt said, “was a day that would live in infamy.” They had already raped and pillaged much of China. They also killed many captured Americans in the Philippines and on the Bataan Death March, where they killed sick and injured GIs who could not march fast enough.
    A Garland boy from Presque Isle was one of the captured Americans taken by ship to Japan. Their captors refused them food and water, and many died before reaching their destination. The Garland boy had a lock of his wife’s hair, which he carried in his pocket. He died in captivity, and after the war a buddy who survived returned the lock of hair to his widow.
    My uncle Waldo served 39 months in the Pacific and contracted malaria fever twice. This malaria reoccurred after he came home.
    Waldo and millions of people throughout the world were very thankful when Japan surrendered. If the bomb had not been dropped the war would have continued and thousands of additional American servicemen would have been buried in the Pacific. Waldo Tweedie was a kind and gentle man who did not harbor a grudge, and he told me “If the Japanese had developed the atomic bomb first, they would have annihilated us.”
    Pat Buchanan, a conservative TV personality, said that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was the biggest blunder in American history. President Bush and Dick Cheney should hang their heads in shame. The Republicans are always talking about cutting taxes. The Iraq war is costing $12 billion a month.
    I worry that our grandkids will not be able to pay off the debt this government has incurred in the past eight years. I am worried about our citizens living on a fixed income being able to heat their homes this winter and I also worry about our brave service people.

Bob Tweedie