A Day Of Infamy and Honor

“The U.S. Navy battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) alongside the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37) at Pearl Harbor. The USS West Virginia (BB-48) is burning in the background.” December 7th,1941

As my friend,and fellow contributor,Tony has already shared with you,today is the anniversary of that awful December day in 1941 when the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor,Hawaii was unexpectedly attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

It is safe to say that this day,and the events that took place on it making it so important to our history,are known to almost every one of us merely through either second hand accounts or history lessons. In its own way that isn’t so bad,we should all be so lucky as to be shielded from the true horrors of war,after all isn’t that why we so highly praise our men and women that fight to protect us,a grateful citizenry,from those that wish us harm?

It is in that vein that I wish to bring to your attention a man that was THERE on that fateful day and who also happens to be from here in Jefferson County,Indiana.
Now,71 years later,we MUST remember those that have served on our behalf! If we do not then what meaning does their service hold?

Pearl Harbor Survivor and Jefferson County native Harley B. Guynn,former Yeoman 1st Class,rides on the MCHS Theatre department’s float in the 2012 Madison Regatta Parade.

Mr.Harley B. Guynn is a native of Jefferson County and  class of 1940 graduate of Hanover High School. He joined the Navy in September of that same year,eventually being assigned to the USS Maryland stationed at Pearl Harbor some months prior to the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

A Sunday’s chance to spend time ashore with fellow crewmen was cut short when Japanese Zeroes began their attack. Mr.Guynn was fortunate enough to survive the attack unscathed (except for ruptured eardrums) and assisted with carrying ammunition to the Maryland’s anti-aircraft guns during the attack.

The attack itself lasted only roughly two hours but the damage was well and truly done by then,leaving the Navy unsure whether to begin treating all the wounded or prepare for a possible third wave of the attack.

We would like to take this moment today to say “thank you” to ALL of those who served and fought at Pearl Harbor,especially Mr.Guynn.

Please take a moment this day to reflect on the events of that day 71 years ago and,if you are a religious person,remember to offer a prayer for the 2,402 Americans that perished that day,many whose bodies could not be recovered.

December 7th,1942 is indeed a day which will “live in infamy” but it is also a day that should live as a reminder of the freedoms we hold so dear and the price that has been paid so often,by so many,to keep them.

For a more in depth look at My.Guynn’s Pearl Harbor experience see the Madison Courier article http://madisoncourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=178&SubSectionID=963&ArticleID=70770 .

About Walter Long

Walter is a native Hoosier and has been to have lived in the Madison area for the last 12 years. He’s an avid reader. He’s married with two kids, one cat, one dog, and far too many rabbits. whlong@madisonindiana.us


  1. Mike Runkle says:

    Tony, this could be an other Mayberry. Home town apple pie flags flying. And a coffe bar. Get a down town cam on the internet and your there for the start.

    Mike Runkle