This December 7th will be the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the US military bases at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Most of the men and women who were there that day are no longer with us. All of them would want those of us in my and future generations to remember Pearl Harbor. They would want us to remember the sacrifices of the men and women who did all they could to protect our country and our freedoms and values. Those men and women were members of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations. While my father was enrolled at the New York State Maritime Academy on that day, he and his class were immediately accelerated so that they would graduate in 1942 and be available to serve in the Merchant Marine. Yet, he could easily have been a sailor on the Arizona, or the Oklahoma, or any of the other destroyed ships. So, remembering Pearl Harbor is very important to me.
I have not had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and visit the Arizona memorial (and others like the Utah, the Punch Bowl, etc.) yet. One way or another, before my last day on this earth, I will get there. And I will drop at least one flower in the waters around the Arizona memorial in remembrance of those who died that day. And I hope that I’ll be able to take my grandson with me to impress upon him the importance of learning about and remembering Pearl Harbor and the unsung heroes not only of that day but also of the entire war. If not for all of them, the US might be non-existent now. We all owe it to them to remember and honor them for all time.
For now I depend upon The History Channel to help me remember Pearl Harbor.