PEARL HARBOR DAY
Once again we pause here to remember December 7, 1941 - the day the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in the event that thrust the United States into World War II.
3.5 YEARS - 400,000 LIVES LOST
A little more than three and a half years later, on August 14, 1945 - my fourth birthday - Japan finally surrendered, but not until after we lost more than 400,000 young American lives.
FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE PASSING ON
As the years pass, and the generation of Americans who fought and died during World War II pass on, it becomes more difficult to educate the populace about that war. I doubt you could get an accurate response from 10% of high school seniors if you asked them when WWII occurred and who were the combatants. I just realized that this day, Pearl Harbor Day, is not reflected on my current 2010 calendar. This is truly sad because that war was a watershed event in the history of this country.
Following World War II my parents generation, Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation", sucked it up and got on with the job of rebuilding the economy of this country and others around the world. More than 16 million Americans served in the military during the war - stop for a moment and contemplate that number. By contrast, over the nine years of the Vietnam War slightly fewer than 9 million served.
REBUILT THE WORLD
As my parents and their peers went about re-constructing their lives they became part of an economic engine unseen anywhere in the world before. Through the Marshall Plan, in which we rebuilt the infrastructure and economies of our enemies, the United States became the clear leader, both economically and militarily, in the world and the next half-century we had amazing prosperity. You can thank my parents generation and, to some extent mine, for that.
PAUSE AND THINK...
As you contemplate the seating of our new city council tonight please take a few minutes to reflect on the sacrifices my parents and their peers made to save our way of life more than six decades ago. Be grateful for the chance to have a vote in how you are governed. Here's a link to an entry I wrote three years ago that will help you gain some perspective.
PERHAPS THIS SHORT VIDEO CLIP WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU
Labels: Pearl Harbor