37 Sets of Brothers

Today is the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on US Navy forces at Pearl Harbor in what is now the State of Hawaii. It is worth taking some time today to remember our violent entry into a war that we did not want–but one which became necessary.

The final resting place of the USS Arizona is a memorial today. I know that I have studied this time in history and perhaps even knew this (though my aging brain does not remember) but that ship included, as part of its officers and crew, thirty-seven separate sets of brothers (PDF). In addition, there was one father-son set. While most of the sets of brothers were of 2 siblings, there were also 3 sets of 3 siblings.

Only one set of brothers assigned to the ship did not lose a member during that attack. All the rest lost at least one of the members. Their reasons for survival varied–from those who were ashore, or in training elsewhere, to those who were wounded but managed to live.

Today, as you remember the event which catapulted us into World War Two, consider the human reality of those 37 particular families.

Following is a video which includes the audio of FDR’s speech on that solemn occasion.