Today is a very solemn anniversary in American history: Pearl Harbor Day. It is the 76th anniversary of what President Franklin Roosevelt declared as “a date that shall live in infamy.” Early on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise air attack on America’s naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. By the time smoke had cleared, 2,350 people had been killed. It was the deadliest attack on Americans until the 9/11 attack of 2001.
But Americans rallied after the body blow at Pearl Harbor. We put aside our petty differences and partisan politics and banded together to rebuild our military and fight. We remembered who the real enemy was, and that loose lips sink ships. We didn’t turn on each other. We learned what the words “Nazi” and “Hitler” really mean, and that they weren't to be taken lightly. And together, we eventually achieved victory over those dark and evil forces.
Now, as more heroic survivors of Pearl Harbor pass away with each anniversary, it’s important that we keep their memories and the memories of what they did and what they fought for alive for future generations of Americans. Let’s hope that as we continue to fight a war on terrorism sparked by an even more deadly atrocity than the attack on Pearl Harbor, we can all remember the lessons we learned on that terrible December morning in 1941.