Snapshot|Retrospective

Time is enduring. It is lasting. Time has the ability to soften and lose the luster and veracity of our memories. Time has the ability to jade us from the horrors of the past by our disconnect from the moment. Time is enduring and will continue well after humanity is gone. 

Even though time endures we must remember our history or we are doomed to repeat it. We must remember the horrors so they can never be repeated again. We must remember our humanity and the ties that bind us together. 

Today, is a time of remembrance and reflection for our great nation at one of its darkest moments. As, we remember the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor that took so many American lives that December morning. We should also remember our nation’s  powerful resolve following the days and years after that horrific event. 

Yesterday, seventy-eight years ago on December 7th, 1941 the American consciousness was rocked to the core by the attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a preemptive military strike by Japanese upon the U.S. Pacific Naval Fleet. The attack was meant to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering in Southeast Asia as Japan expanded its Imperial reach. 

The men and women aboard Pearl Harbor naval base where enjoying their Sunday when bombs were dropped upon them. Fires raged on naval vessels and key strategic points throughout Pearl Harbor. The men and women aboard mobilized and fought back and rendered aid to our injured and dying. The fires hot, the smoke black and suffocating, the terror and horror palpable. In these conditions the young men fought to defend Pearl Harbor. 

On that day twenty-one ships were damaged or lost by the Japanese strike. We lost battleships by the names of Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah. One thousand six hundred and seventy men where lost in those ships alone. We lost naval destroyers, cruisers, and many more vessels. On that day we lost 2,235 service members and 1,143 were wounded. Many of their graves lay at the bottom of the sea entombed with their ships. These men defended this nation and their brothers at their darkest hour. 

The attack on Pearl Harbor showed the world the horrors of war and the strength and resolve of the American people and our military. We did not cower at the odds before us but rose to their heights. The men who defended Pearl Harbor fought against insurmountable odds to repel the Japanese’s strike. During our darkest hour the resolve, grit, and courage of the American resolved was a beacon of light through the darkness of the moment. 

The attack on the morning of December 7th galvanized the American consciousness and resolve. Which was the opposite effect the Imperial Japan was looking for the strike to have. 

Our response to the attack on Pearl Harbor was swift and powerful. On December 8th, President Roosevelt spoke to Congress and and the nation about the vicious strike by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt’s words echo through eternity and have the same power when spoken that fateful day. The President’s opened his address by saying, “Yesterday, 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.” 

The attack on Pearl Harbor was definitely a date which will live in infamy. It was the day that Japanese bought America into World War II. It strengthened the Allied Forces with the entrance of America into Second World War. A move that would slowly turned the balance of power against Germany and Japanese forces and their pursuit of domination. 

Now, more than every we must remember the events of Pearl Harbor and the Second World War. Before the veracity of its memory disappears to the history books. There is roughly 15 survivors who saw the attack unfold that fateful day. These men are the last living testament of history that we have to these events. After, their passing our living history of that pivotal moment in American history will cease to exist. 

It is up to the current and future generations to carry-on the legacy of remembrance. As, Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The horrors of World War II should be a testament to the unspeakable cruelty man can wreck upon one another. It is also a testament to the courage, strength, love, hope, and faith of humanity. As, with every war their is a duality and fragile nature of humanity that shows forth. 

As, time continues to move forward and the men who fought and survived that fateful day leave us, it is our responsibility to remember them. To remember their courage, sacrifice, resolve, and humanity. To remember how they fought valiantly against overwhelming odds. Remember the horror of that day and that moment. So, we may never repeat it. 

The memorial at Pearl Harbor stands as a testament to their courage, sacrifice, and gratitude of a thankful nation. These men were warriors of this nation that died defending a country they love. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten. Their memory should live on for eternity. Honor them. Remember them.

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