‘A day that will live in infamy’

Published 5:13 pm Friday, December 4, 2020

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Monday marks the 79th anniversary of the “day that will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D Roosevelt described it in one of his most famous speeches.

On that day, at 7:55 a.m, without warning, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor sending a shockwave across this country.

This is not one of those festive anniversaries and much like Sept 11, it is and should always be a somber day.

The attacks on Pearl Harbor changed the way Americans felt. The United States was no longer that country that seemed immune from outside attacks — similar to the way the nation felt after Sept 11.

According to the National WWII Museum, the attacks on Pearl Harbor took the lives of 2,335 servicemen, wounded 1,143 and killed were 68 civilians, many of whom were nurses and hospital workers

The attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into war against the axis powers of Germany and Japan. Roosevelt acted decisively, finding out about the attacks on a Sunday afternoon and by Monday morning the declaration of war was signed.

This year, the commemoration will likely be quieter.  There will be no large school assemblies, no large groups flooding museums.

There may be some ceremonies that mark the historic event that led our nation into World War II.

With that in mind, take a moment, grab your child or grandchild and let them read about what it was like for the people of Hawaii on that day and how the nation came together in support of this great country.

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association National President William Muehleib once said, “We did what we had to do. We did what we were called to do. And then we went on and lived our lives. It was over and done.”

Just because it is over and done, doesn’t mean we need to forget it.