Sunday, December 07, 2008

Do Not Forget

After effects of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor
Today is the 67th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. There has been much written about this event, (there was a good article today) and as more and more information comes to light it is clear that the outcome of that day could have been much different. I am also reminded that arrogance, incompetence, and naivete led to the loss of 2,403 lives. It also left 1,187 wounded. We would do well to learn the lessons of December 7, 1941 and not put too much faith in our ability to negotiate, our safety here at home, and in the competence of those who are leading us. As the old adage goes, "Those who don't know history will be doomed to repeat it."

It is actually very interesting to me just how often history does repeat itself. I recently visited the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, NC with a friend and learned from one of their videos that the British Parliament had many of the same difficulties and arguments over the American Colonies that we have had over the war in Iraq. Interesting, huh? (By the way, they have done some incredible work on that museum over the past several years. It is really something to see, and the park is a great place to visit whether you are interested in history or just want a good place to walk, hike or whatever.)

Anyway, I do want to take a moment to honor the lives lost there at Pearl Harbor all those years ago, and to thank the men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend our nation throughout history. You guys are my heroes.


A Friend said...

Ironic that yesterday the only person I heard refer to Pearl Harbor day at all was the clerk at Food Lion - he looked to be all of maybe 17 (but then again I think they all are looking younger as I am getting older...). He said to the bagger 'Dec 7th, Pearl Harbor day' and the girl bagging for him looked at him like she had absolutely no clue what he was talking about. I said 'good for you for knowing what Pearl Harbor was...' Made me think maybe there ARE a few kids out there that do care to learn about our country's history. Of course, I'm on a 'news strike' these days - avoiding TV news like the plague, but I do usually check at least the headlines on Charlotte Observer, CNN and Foxnews online and didn't notice any of the usual 'remember Pearl Harbor' articles that one generally sees.

Have you read the book '1776' by David McCullough? It's been a while since I read it, but when I saw your comment about the parallels between England's attitudes towards the American Revolution and the US common opinion of the Iraq/War on Terror it made me think about that book.

I found McCullough's attempts to tell the story in the early chapters from the British point of view - especially the common person in England's apathetic view of why they should even fight to keep the colonies - eye opening. Most of the reading I've done on US history looks at everything from a US-centric point of view - it was very interesting to read US history from a more world view.

Anyway, hope your Mom is feeling better too!

Jonathan said...

I totally understand the news strike. I am hardly even reading headlines these days. I used to check Drudge and Newsmax several times a day, but I don't even do it twice a week now.

I have read 1776 and actually own it. I enjoyed it. I had forgotten about the British perspective. I would like to read some more from that perspective. I have asked for several books about that time period for Christmas. I asked for McCullough's John Adams biography. I'd like to learn more about him. I also came across some other very interesting looking books on Amazon about that period. One about Patrick Henry looked really good. There was another called The Founders On The Founders that looked good too. Going to the museum really made me want to learn more about that period. I used to be very interested in it back when I was a kid - before I learned about the Flying Tigers, the Black Sheep Squadron and World War II.

Mom is mending, albeit slower than anyone would have wanted... especially her!