We Must Remain Vigilant, Lest History Repeat Itself
Dec. 7 marked the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which
occurred in 1941. Some of us may have tucked the attack away in our mind as
‘something that happened a long time ago.’ Do school children even learn about the
events of the day that pulled us into a devastating world war? There was some mention
of it on the news and maybe an article in the paper – especially if your community has
a World War II veteran who is willing to share his story of that day.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the U.S. president at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack,
called it “a day that will live in infamy.” He and the rest of the country never dreamed
that it would be a day that would fade into the past and gain barely a mention in a
public school. Back on Dec. 7, 1941, our nation probably felt the same way about the
attack on Pearl Harbor, as our younger generations feel about the terrorist attacks of
9-11. It would be unthinkable to believe that in a couple of decades, the events of 9-11
could get a brief mention on our evening news before we move on to something else
deemed more important.
Take some time to read up on the attacks at Pearl Harbor. These attacks were labeled
as “surprise” attacks. Today we call them “terrorist” attacks. On that day, there were
2,403 people killed on American soil and our country was pulled into World War II as
a result. There are pictures and video, easily found on the internet, that you can share
with your children. “Remember Pearl Harbor” became the rallying cry for the U.S.
after that day and we should take it seriously. It’s our responsibility to remember our
history and pass it on to future generations.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the passing of our 41st president, George H.W. Bush, a man who volunteered for the Navy at the age of 16, just after Pearl Harbor. He became the youngest Navy pilot at the time. His plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean, and after his rescue he lived a lifetime of extraordinary accomplishments including President of the United States.