Pearl Harbor Matters too
Just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The onslaught lasted only two hours, but it was devastating. The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships and nearly 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. And the rest is history.
We salute our veterans on Veteran’s Day, we remember them on Memorial Day, but we cannot forget them on Dec. 7; it matters too. After Congress approved President Roosevelt’s declaration, three days later Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States. After more than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined World War II. We know the story; we have loved ones who have fought and survived, and fought and died in the battles. So why doesn’t there seem to be much emphasis on the day we were thrust into WWII? At that time our country was barely recovering from the Great Depression with the stock market crashing, and you would think our people were at their weakest. Yet they were most resilient.
In talking to veterans who have fought in WWII and survived the Great Depression, they’ll tell you flat out those were tough times. Some will even tell you going through the depression prepared us mentally for another fight, which evidently proved true.
Pearl Harbor has much significance in our history and we shouldn’t let Dec. 7 just pass as another day. It should be a day of thanksgiving, honor and pride. It showed even when others think we’re at our weakest, we have more left in us in the take. Enough to take on the world against us and remain America. There aren’t many WWII vets living today, but if you know one just take the time out and say thank you. Give them a smile and let them know you won’t forget Dec. 7 because it’s a day that matters too.