Jack Remembers: Even when you measure it in MPGs, Pearl Harbor hard to forget

By Jack Hartley

My grandson, Cory, completed his third tour to the Middle East and is now on his way to Germany to be with his wife, who is still in the service.
Since he will be there for an extended stay, he needed to get rid of his Japanese Nissan car in a hurry, what with its high priced insurance and interest payments.
Guess who had to get him off the hook?  It had some dark tinted vinyl covering the windows.
Cory said, “Grandpa, I will have that vinyl removed so you can see to drive at night.”  I said, “That’s alright, Cory.  Leave that stuff on the windows, because I don’t want anyone to see me driving a Japanese car.”
He said, “Why don’t you want anyone to see you driving a Japanese car, Grandpa?”  I said, “Good Lord, Cory.  They bombed Pearl Harbor.”
He replied, “Good Lord, Grandpa.  How long ago was that?”  I said, “72 years.”
Cory said, “Most everybody else has forgiven them, Grandpa.  Japanese cars are best sellers in the United States.”
Not many people who were alive in 1941 – when the Japanese sneak attacked and bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,400 people – buy Japanese cars.
We were not at war with Japan, and Japan was not at war with us.  It was a true terrorist attack, somewhat resembling the World Trade Center.
The next day, they declared war on us, and we declared war on them, which resulted in more than 100,000 servicemen losing their lives in the Pacific, not including the injured.
“Let’s pretend, Cory, that Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for 2,753 deaths at the World Trade Center lived, received amnesty, decided to be a good guy from now on and got a bunch of his Taliban buddies to build a factory and start making Arab cars.  In your lifetime, Cory, would you buy one?”
He changed the subject and said, “There is something I forgot to tell you, Grandpa.  That car gets 35 miles to the gallon.”

Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or  Visit

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