Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 12, 2013

Remembering 'day of infamy'

Veterans mark Pearl Harbor anniversary

By Dustin Luca

---- — A solemn event last week recognized the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which ultimately became the battle cry for America’s entry into World War II.

Presented by American Legion Andover Post 8, the ceremony opened with recorded remarks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Dec. 8, 1941 address, in which he termed Dec. 7 “a date which will live in infamy.”

John Doherty, a Vietnam War veteran, then spoke of the significance of the war effort that followed.

“It sure didn’t look good on Dec. 7,” Doherty said. “This was a war we could well have lost. And if it weren’t for the efforts both at the home front and of our sons and daughters who fought so bravely (overseas) for four years, you could be listening to me speak in German.”

Had the war not ended the way it did, Doherty said the country would have likely been split by the Mississippi River — land to the west under Japanese control and land to the east occupied by Germany.

With America’s response and eventual triumph in the war, Doherty said, “it’s not a good idea to provoke Uncle Sam.”

“It came out the way it should have,” he said. “Hopefully, it has given pause to a lot of countries who might want to try something like this again.”