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Commemorating Pearl Harbor – Remembrance, Respect, and Resolve

December 7, 2012

Many Americans remembered a tragedy today.  On this day in 1941, Japanese airplanes filled the skies above Pearl Harbor, killing Americans and wreaking havoc on the American fleet harbored there.  There was an immediate reaction then, but over time memories have dulled and reactions have softened, or in some cases, changed completely.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Make no mistake, the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a tragedy.  If you believe, as some of my friends do, that FDR wanted Pearl Harbor to happen so that America would join the war, the improper use of power was tragic.  However, the lives lost, husbands, fathers, providers taken, and homes destroyed constituted a far greater tragedy.

If you believe, as most do, that Japan was making a preemptive strike against us, then our lack of preparedness was tragic.  However, the lives lost are still the greater tragedy.

Often, as time moves on, we tend to forget the human loss in past tragic moments and look for the reactions to and consequences of the event.  We should never forget the lives lost in that surprise attack.

Respecting Their Sacrifice

There are those who use this occasion to remind us of deceptions that surrounded Pearl Harbor.  While these things need to be considered, I do not believe that this occasion is the right one for voicing those concerns.  On this day, we should remember the sacrifice that many men made.  We should neither trivialize their deaths nor disparage their memories.

Resolving to Learn From Tragedy

However, we also owe to those who died a certain vigilance.  We should be careful to hold our leaders responsible for their decisions.  I realize that no one is perfect, and that people are sometimes deceived.  Still, we can see the values of current representatives if we examine the bulk of their record.  We should be quick to question things that seem even the slightest bit questionable.

Pearl Harbor didn’t have to happen.  At best, there is documented evidence of gross negligence by those who could have alerted our soldiers to the coming battle.  Early warnings were repeatedly ignored.  At worst, there was a great conspiracy and willingness to sacrifice American lives to get us to enter into war.

We owe it to the brave men who died that day to prevent that scenario from repeating.  We should respect their memory, and we should respect the significance of the event.

Remember Pearl Harbor – many lives were lost.

Respect the sacrifices that were made – this type of sacrifice is not easy and has at times been necessary to preserve our freedoms.

Resolve that these sacrifices will not be in vain.

Thank you for reading my thoughts,

Dave

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