This past Saturday, December 7, marked the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We'd be remiss if we didn't make mention of the day that still lives in infamy all these years later. This …
This past Saturday, December 7, marked the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We'd be remiss if we didn't make mention of the day that still lives in infamy all these years later. This is one of those historical events that doesn't get a lot of attention anymore, except when it approaches big anniversaries like the 75th or 80th.
Pearl Harbor saw bloodshed on a much smaller scale just recently. Last week a sailor opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, killing two Department of Defense workers and wounding a third before taking his own life was
Until the terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001, however, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was the deadliest attack on American soil. Over 2,400 Americans lost their lives and over 1,000 were wounded. The surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy was meant to cripple American naval power in the Pacific theater. While Twenty-one ships were damaged or lost in the attack, all but three were repaired and returned to service.
The United States lost another 400,000 young Americans in the ensuing battles throughout Pacific, Asia and Europe. The day is fast approaching when there will no longer be living veterans of this conflict to share their stories, but the world they helped create in the aftermath of World War II is one we're still living in today.
In an effort to avoid future world wars, the United States played a lead role in establishing the United Nations and joining alliances designed to ensure a lasting peace.
Rather than fall back into the policies of isolationism that had existed before the war, America chose to engage with the rest of the world and become a global leader in matters diplomatic, economic and militarily. The attack instilled in Americans a lasting determination to maintain the military strength to deter and defeat any enemy.
“The Allied stand against Soviet expansion kept Western Europe independent, and in time helped to bring about the collapse of Moscow's communist empire. The ghastly toll of the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki sobered leaders into finding ways to prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used again,” read a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.
When President Franklin Roosevelt told Americans that December 7, 1941 would live in infamy, he was surely right. That day set this country on a path into the modern world order which now exists, and which we see fraying at some ends.
But our country was united in a common cause on that day in a way that we didn't see again until Sept. 11. 2001. It was a reminder that there's so much more that unites us than separates us. The anniversary each year should remind of us that simple fact.
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