May. 5, 2019

INTRODUCTION TO MY POST ABOUT KAMIKAZE PILOTS.

GROWING UP, I LOVED THE LIBRARY. ALL THOSE BOOKS HELPED ME GROW-UP, EXPAND MY CURIOUSITY, INSPIRE ME TO ASK MORE QUESTIONS AND...TO SEEK MORE ANSWERS.

IN THE EARLY FORTIES, OUR RADIO SAT ON A BOOK SHELVE IN THE LIVING ROOM OF OUR RENT HOUSE. IT STAYED TURNED-ON MOST OF THE TIME.

WE LISTENED TO FUNNY SHOWS, MOVIE TALK, WEATHER REPORTS, MEDICAL INFORMATION, AND, MOST OF ALL, NEWS STORIES ABOUT AMERICANS FIGHTING OUR ENEMIES IN OTHER COUNTRIES. WE LISTENED AS ANNOUNCERS NAMED THOSE ON THE WOUNDED LIST; WE ALSO LEARNED THE NAMES OF THOSE LISTED AS DEAD. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE HEARD DIRECTLY FROM THOSE "IN CHARGE" ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT OUR SOLDIERS WERE WINNING THE WAR.

I REMEMBER THE SUNDAY AN EXCITED RADIO ANNOUNCER TOLD LISTENERS THATJAPANESE HAD ATTACKED PEARL HARBOR. THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HEARD THE WORD "KAMIKAZE" AND, FOR SOME REASON, IT SPARKED MY CURIOUSITY.

WHEN I BEGAN VISITING MY FAVORITE PLACE--THE PUBLIC LIBRARY--I READ EVERYTHING I COULD FIND ABOUT JAPAN AND THEIR KAMIKAZE PILOTS. MANY ADULTS WERE SHOCKED TO DISCOVER THAT...AT SUCH AN EARLY AGE... I WAS STUDYING BOOKS, NEWSPAPERS, AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES--AND-LEARNING ABOUT SUCH SERIOUS ACTIONS AS SUICIDE...ABOUT INTENTIONAL DEATH.

I CAN"T EXPLAIN WHY I'VE STAYED FASCINATED WITH KAMIKAZE PILOTS. EVEN NOW-- I STILL READ INTERVIEWS WITH KAMIKAZE PILOT SURVIVORS, THOSE WHO WERE TRAINED, READY TO DIE, BUT JAPAN SURRENDERED BEFORE THESE KAMIKAZES WERE CALLED-ON TO FLY THEIR FINAL MISSIONS.

BELOW, YOU CAN READ WHAT I LEARNED-- FROM CHILDHOOD-- ABOUT JAPAN'S "SUICIDE" PILOTS. I'VE POSTED SOME OF MY LONG-AGO NOTES AND MY OPINION SO--- YOU CAN DECIDE IF KAMIKAZE PILOTS WERE "HEROS".