Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thoughts on Pearl Harbor

It was 67 years ago today the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which prompted American entry into World War II.

Aside from the people who were old enough to remember Pearl Harbor and people who think our history is important Pearl Harbor is no more a part of our public consciousness than Fort Sumter. Of course with the passage of time such a thing is only natural. But it is nonetheless bothersome because our soil was attacked by Islamic terrorists just over seven years ago.

Of course, back then America shook off its isolationism and stood up to fight. Sure there were those who thought FDR knew the attack was coming and insisted we had no business in foreign entanglements but these were sheer crackpots.

But many of the baby boomers that came of age during Vietnam view America with a more jaundiced eye and those views have been passed down to my generation and the succeeding one. As such they are not taught about the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives that day. Nearly as many people died during Pearl Harbor as American soldiers were killed in Iraq. I'm not trivializing the sacrifice of our soldiers who have died serving our country. Rather I am merely demonstrating the magnitude of Pearl Harbor and how my generation and succeeding generations of Americans don't quite recognize how monumental its impact was on the American psyche.

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