Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Remember Pearl Harbor

Dec 07 2011

Seventy years ago, a Japanese surprise attack on our Pacific fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor left almost 2,400 Americans dead, another 1,178 wounded, destroyed over 300 U.S aircraft and heavily damaged a dozen U.S. warships.

“A Day of Infamy” is what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 in a speech before Congress.  One day after FDR’s speech, Congress declared war on Japan, officially bringing the U.S. into World War II. 

Japan’s sneak attack on our Pacific fleet was a defining moment in American history.  This was not a war of our choosing, but after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was not only thrust into the war, but determined to make the world a better and safer place as a result.  The rallying cry of “Remember Pearl Harbor” was born out of the ashes.

Today, when we think of the mantra “Remember Pearl Harbor” we do so not out of a sense of anger, for which it was first cried, but out of a sense of gratitude.  Our World War II veterans, including the veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack, shaped the modern world for the better.  Their sacrifice, bravery and heroic acts are the reason that the world is a better place.  The fact that Japan is now a strong ally, trading partner and close friend of the U.S. is evidence of that. 

As time passes, it is all the more important that we pay respect to the sacrifices of those who were killed that day and preserve and remember the firsthand accounts of heroism that took place while America was under attack.  While the Greatest Generation won’t be with us forever, their sacrifices and heroics will live on.  Let us never forget their legacy and this day that changed our world forever.