Remembrance and Awareness
By Marvin Hutchens | December 7, 2005
It was December 7th, 1941 that the U.S. came under attack in early morning hours. As a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor more than 2400 American lives were lost. The day was described by President Franklin Roosevelt, speaking before Congress on the following day, as:
“... December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
We were caught off guard that fateful morning. Our leaders believed that just as we negotiated in good faith, so did the Japanese. Men, boys just hours before, began to fill the ranks of our military in order to do their part in defeating an enemy unlike those the U.S. had faced before. The years that followed saw an entire nation focused on the defeat of Japan and Germany, and afterwards, on the rehabilitation of both. Our character shown on countless battlefields, in factories and on farms, and again in the policy choices made to rebuild the defeated enemies that had undertaken our destruction.
The day of infamy though is ever less remembered. The strength of a great generation, humble beyond our comprehension, is passing. Our duty to remember that day and the regular folk who became heroes and heroines remains. Yet we do less each year. For one of our great strengths is also our weakness.
It is a marvel. A wondrous thing that we go on with our daily tasks, pursue our lives and build (or rebuild) that which the jihadists would so willingly destroy. Yet this wonder of our national character also presents a weakness. We are apt to forget the cost our enemies have exacted upon us. We are apt to mistake the will of those in foreign lands to be as forthright and good as that which our neighbor bids to us on a holiday's eve.
Around the world on this day men and women who've sworn to defend our lives, our Nation and our rights stand guard. When we remember the shock and horror of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we are more likely to remember the more recent terror of September 11, 2001 and the daily battle to prevent other attacks at home and abroad. Pause, if you may today, and be thankful for those who've given all and those who risk all that you may forget for a moment the ever present threats to America and her allies around the world.