Today is December 7, a date (according to President Franklin Roosevelt) which will live in infamy. On this day 59 years ago, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet was attacked at the port of Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. The attack brought the United States fully into World War II.
In total, the attack on Pearl Harbor cost the U.S. almost 2500 lives, plus an additional 1300 or so casualties, not to mention the loss of most of our Pacific Fleet. If you add to that the casualties suffered throughout our involvement in WWII in both Europe and the Pacific, that number skyrockets.
I can’t say exactly why, other than patriotism, but Pearl Harbor Day really affects me every year. I always find myself pondering the attack itself, the sacrifices of all the men and women who helped defeat Japan, Germany, and their allies, and the effect that World War II had on the course of history. It is absolutely staggering, and I am grateful for the sacrifice and heroics of “the Greatest Generation.”
If you feel like remembering, honoring, meditating, etc., today I would encourage you to do so. And if you’re interested in learning a little more about the attack on Pearl Harbor in an interesting way, allow me to recommend the 1970 movie Tora! Tora! Tora!. It is an absolutely superb look at the attack from both the American and Japanese sides.
Regardless, I hope you’ll remember Pearl Harbor today, and honor those who lost their lives there.