December 7th, 1941, a date that sticks out in most historians’ minds more than September 11, 2001. The two words that tell the story of that day – Pearl Harbor – still reopen deep wounds in the hearts and minds of Americans who were alive on that dark day seventy years ago. The tragic event changed history in a way that nobody thought possible. It was the beginning of the end for the Axis powers, and although they won the battle that day, we won the war.
So what is the purpose of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day? To honor those brave men and women who gave their lives for America, and for their families who have sacrificed because of the brutal attack by the Japanese. There are no words to express how grateful I am for those U.S. soldiers who risk their own lives for the greater good. There are no expressions that will fully articulate the deep pain and sadness that our entire country felt on that day.
It was a very different time and place back then. The United States was known by most as a global force for good and it was this despicable act committed by the Japanese that cemented our role in the war, which would eventually become a tipping point in World War II. Why should WE remember this day? Think about how different the world might be if we never had any involvement in World War II. Let that thought sink in. Would the world be controlled by a fascist superpower today? Maybe, maybe not, but either way the importance of the events on December 7th, 1941 can’t be downplayed.
Before the attacks, the American public had been content with isolationism while the rest of the world was locked in a war. After Pearl Harbor, isolationism was no longer an option. We lost 2,402 Americans on that day, and we could no longer sit by idly and watch. The rest is history. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is about awareness. Awareness of our brave service members, awareness of those affected by the events at Pearl Harbor, and awareness of history. In the month’s following the attack, a slogan was born. “Remember Pearl Harbor” was heard from coast to coast in America. Now, seven decades later, let’s do our part and do just that, remember Pearl Harbor.
What should YOU do on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day? Display a U.S. flag at half-mast outside of where you live to honor those affected by the heartrending invasion.
Check out these books about Pearl Harbor:
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