Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 7, 2018

Giving Thanks to The Greatest Generation


Ernie Cowan, a long time friend of Palomar Mountain, posted about his father being at Pearl Harbor.  Such a beautiful message, he gave me permission to share.

From: Ernie Cowan

On this day 77 years ago, my father was a sailor aboard the U.S.S. Honolulu based in Pearl Harbor. His ship was berthed against the dock, inboard of the U.S.S. St. Louis, across the harbor from Battleship Row and the U.S.S. Arizona.

He didn’t talk much about that day, but I do remember a few things. He said he was shaving when the attack began, and it was about two weeks before he finished shaving the other half of his face.

He was wearing shoes when the attack began, and it was hours later that he realized he had apparently jumped out of his shoes. It was a time of chaos.

Sometimes silence says more than talk. A “Can Do” generation came from that tragic day along with a national resolve shared by everyone. They did what they had to do to preserve this nation. I’ve known so many from that era who did amazing things and never talked about it.

I never got the sense that my father felt he had sacrificed. Instead he believed it was his honor to quietly serve. A generation stepped up and did what necessary, protecting the values that founded this nation. When the job was done they returned to factories, business, education and public service.

For a moment today, each of us should pause to give thanks to The Greatest Generation.




  1. Very nice. Thank you.

  2. Nicely put together – thanks!

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