On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 service members and wounding 1,178 more. One of the 19 U.S. Navy ships to be completely destroyed was the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. Half of those who died in the attack were on that ship, including Storekeeper 3rd Class Clay Cooper Rector, who was the son of Wendell and Lela Cooper Rector of Albany, Kentucky.
The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.
Today, we honor all 35 Clinton County, Kentucky hero soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice during the war. Their names are listed on the War Veterans Monument located in the courthouse yard. I encourage you to visit the monument if you haven't.
They are Juland Archie Aaron, Gleason Asberry, Chester H. Beaty, Garvin G Brown, Herman Brown, Lambert F Burchett, Alvin Wilber Butler, James Earl Butler, Jerry Wendell Combest, Johnie R. Cooksey, John L. Cooper,Johnnie Delmer Cope, Ralph Cundiff, Marvin W. Foster, John Paul Grider Jr., Thompsie Joe Guffey, Clyde Beaty Guthrie, Hugh Edward Irwin, John E. Mason, Floyd Willard Neal, Bobbie Braxton, Bill Ray Pennycuff, Edward Frank Perdue, Norman J. Pierce, Earl C. Polston, Clay Cooper Rector, Calvin Sidwell, Rosco L. Simpson, Wendell Fred Smith, Nathan Tallent, Willie Randell Taylor, James Roger Tuggle, James Curtis Witham, Phillip A. Wright and Marvin T. York.
I spent all of this mornings hours visiting each one's page on findagrave, reading their information, looking at their faces. Not everyone came back. They are our heroes, just like all veterans are our heroes.
God bless them and (You) today and every day.
Clay Cooper Rector's chaplain was Captain William A. Maguire. He said "Don't say we buried with sorrow. Say we buried with conviction. Our men died manfully and we will wipe out that treachery come what may. The spirit of these men lives on."
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