“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
I was thinking about this around 9/11 this year. Of course most Americans don’t remember Pearl Harbor, 70 years ago, directly anymore, as the population ages. But if we did, what lessons are we to glean now? “Never forget” is the mantra after many significant disasters. But Japan, and for that matter, Germany, are our allies now; maybe that’s the new message.
Incidentally, of the 16,112,566 Americans who served in the armed forces during WWII, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in November 2011 that only 1,711,000 nationwide are still living, and a greater number die each year.
And, as the population ages, we will forget 9/11 too, maybe not any time soon, but eventually, in a few generations. I believe there is wisdom to be gained from the past, but specifically, what is it we are supposed to learn? I think on this regularly, yet have no tidy answers.