70 Years Later...
I cannot let this day fade without recalling that this day, December 7, 2011, is the 70th anniversary of the attack by the Japanese Empire on our Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - the attack that launched us into World War II. That conflict, both in Europe and in the Pacific, eventually took more than 400,000 American lives during the slightly more than three and a half years of conflict.
Some have said that World War II unified this country to the point that it became THE dominate power in the world from the end of the war in 1945 until, barely, the present date. The late writer and commentator on "60 Minutes", Andy Rooney (he passed away November 14th) covered World War II as a writer for the Stars and Stripes and reminded us of that time in his life frequently with his commentaries and his books.
PLEASE VISIT THESE SITES...
I've written extensively about this anniversary for several years - 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. I hope you'll take the time to visit those entries to help you remember this date and what it meant to this nation - what we fought to defeat on two continents simultaneously.
THANKS TO THE "GREATEST GENERATION"
As the members of my parents generation - Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" - continue to die off I hope you will take a moment to thank those you know for their sacrifice. Every member of American society sucked it up and did their part to help win the war, not just those brave men and women in the military service. My father, for example, was ineligible for military service because of a leg injury, but he worked two full-time jobs for the duration - his regular job and then at least one defense-related job. His brother served in the SeaBees and two uncles on my mother's side served with distinction as officers in the Army. They, and their peers, returned from doing their duty in the war to help build this nation following the war.
ABOUT TO DEPLOY
In five days my grandnephew, Nathan Harrison, will deploy to Afghanistan for his first tour. He joined the Army right out of high school last year specifically to help win that conflict. In less than two week, at the age of 19, he will find himself in harm's way in a far-off land doing his duty for this country. He is the kind of young man that formed the cadre of the soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II - ready to defend our country's interests, wherever it took them.
Never forget the lessons of Pearl Harbor and never stop supporting our troops. They deserve it.