Tuesday, December 07, 2010

SHTF: Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today is December 7 and is the 69th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. On that fateful morning, Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor killing more than 2400 sailors, airmen and solidiers and starting US involvement in World War II.

There are dozens of good articles online, but better, there are interviews with some of the dwindling number of survivors from that day of infamy, to paraphrase then President Roosevelt. In a few short years, most who were there will be gone so read their stories today.

The lesson from today is that an attack like Pearl Harbor can come at any time. A survivor from Indiana remarked that young people need to understand the world and global affairs. Not so they can "understand and appreciate other cultures" as the current sentiment goes, but so they can recognize those who are ready and willing to do this nation harm.

Like it or not, the world is a dangerous place. We don't live in the fictional universe where a spaceship captain can hold innumerable peace summits to find common ground between warring species.  Rather, we live in a tumultuous world where motivations for hostility can run deep and old and no amount of college public affairs coursework can alter the course of history. Wars are started by people who don't like other people. It is as old as time and it will never change, because people rarely change. They merely change the ways the go about things.

If you know a veteran of Pearl Harbor or World War II, take him or her out to breakfast or pay them a visit. If you don't, then offer a silent prayer to those who have gone ahead of you.

Most of all, never forget.

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