'Bea and I started the war'

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2011 - 10:02 PM

An Edina woman who was at Pearl Harbor with her Navy husband recalls the "date which will live in infamy" 70 years later.

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cloudynikDec. 6, 11 5:22 PM

Thank you Bea for sharing yours & Bob's story. We must treasure all these wonderful, personal stories from WWII, as The Greatest Generation is slowly slipping from us into history.

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brainerdguyDec. 6, 11 6:30 PM

There is no question why they are "The Greatest Generation"!

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gregdeereDec. 6, 11 7:49 PM

Thank you for sharing your story, we need to hear these experiences and preserve them for future generations. Too often history focuses only on Generals, Admirals and Presidents. I like to hear history from people like Bea, who may happen to live next door.

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ClewinDec. 6, 11 8:07 PM

Um, after the US cut off oil supplies to Japan the reaction was "strong?" That's a bit of an understatement - they declared war on the US and invaded parts of resource rich southeast Asia to compensate, expecting the US to retaliate. The only people surprised by the attack were at Pearl Harbor - the US had broken their code, knew they were moving aircraft carriers and had spotted them a day earlier. I find it highly unlikely that some skilled maneuvering wasn't involved, seeing that no aircraft carriers were at a harbor that ALWAYS had aircraft carriers in it (I've read that and also heard it from a college professor who lived within view of Pearl Harbor). Conspiracy theorists think America wanted a tragedy, I'm leaning more toward they knew something was coming and had taken some precautions, but thought Pearl Harbor was a bit of a stretch. Also had they reacted when the planes appeared on radar it would have been much less of a tragedy.

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halcyonnieDec. 7, 11 1:47 AM

How great of Bea to remember today's military families in her comments about WWII. Sounds like she also has a great sense of humor for a 95 year old, talking about wanting to move to the ocean or the mountains and ending up in our fair state of Minnesota! Enjoyed the article.

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mnmaggiemnDec. 7, 11 2:02 AM

Well Clewin, this article was one wonderful widows view, this was not a history report.

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tylerthacherDec. 7, 11 4:54 AM

Grandma B, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing your story!

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northhillDec. 7, 1110:35 AM

Thank You Bea great story.The attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan,Clewin,was made without a declaration of war.That's why they call it a sneak attack.Clewin,rent Tora Tora Tora! It will tell you the why and the wherefore of the attack.

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