It was on this day in 1941that the United States suffered one of its most disastrous losses in our nation’s history. Pearl Harbor. The day that will live in infamy. The day that thrust the Greatest Generation into the role of heroes; a role that they never sought and a status they refused to accept.
2013’s December seventh was cold and icy in west Tennessee. As I drove the slick roads around the small town of Halls, I ventured onto the ice-covered, time-worn concrete aprons of the old Arnold Field on the long-gone Dyersburg Air Base. It was in response to what occurred at Pearl Harbor that soldiers and airmen came to train at this big base beside a little town along the banks of the Mississippi River.
I’ve got a pretty good imagination, so it was easy for me to see planes and pilots filling the space as far as the eye could see. But on this cold day, rolls of cotton, some grown in fields that those bombers-in-training used for targets back in the forties, were all that stood at attention in the morning rain. The only noise was the splattering of raindrops on the bright plastic wraps that protected the cotton.