71 Years

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71 years ago today, 2,402 Americans were killed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  The attack exposed our vulnerabilities, and shook the psyche of our country.  The response was swift, and the result was decisive.  America showed the world that it is not wise to provoke us.

It’s easy for us today to forget about the events of December 7, 1941 because it was so many years ago.  Very few survivors of the attack remain with us.  Our schools barely touch on the attack and only give WWII as a whole a perfunctory look.  We are left to our own curiosities and devices to learn about such significant events.

We have a unique opportunity as Americans to both celebrate and learn from such an attack.  Because it happened 71 years ago makes it no less relevant today than it was on December 8, 1941 or June 6, 1944.  The courage and bravery of our military was on display that day and in the coming years, and that same courage and bravery remain with those who serve today.  Those of us who do not or have not served sometimes fail to understand that today’s Navy shares so much in common with the Navy of December 7, 1941.  Yes, technology has improved, and our Navy is better today, but there is no denying the lineage of today’s sailors and their connection with the sailors of 1941.

Pay attention as you drive around today wherever you are.  Take special note of those businesses that are flying our flag today.  Is it at half-staff like it should be?  I only noticed one business that I passed today that was properly observing and remembering Pearl Harbor Day, and that was when I stopped for breakfast at Chick-fil-A.

We should embrace the opportunities we have to learn from the rich history we have built as a country over the past 236 years.

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