Today, we’re still arguing over what to call a decorated evergreen tree and still driving around with our faded “Never Forget 9/11” bumper and rear window stickers. But the sad part is we have forgotten. No, not about September 11th, many of us do respectfully and somberly remember that every year. What we do forget is the day that President Franklin Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy.” Today is Pearl Harbor Day.
We no longer hear much mention of Pearl Harbor Day or the attacks that happened 70 years ago today. The day that killed 2,390 Americans in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The day that finally drew the United States into World War II.
This morning, I did some Googling to see how many people are still living today who were there for the attacks. Ironically, the source that Google came back with at the top of the search results is a newspaper from the UK:
Mal Middlesworth, former president of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association, estimates there are around 2,700 Pearl Harbor veterans still alive.
The survivors of the day are all in their late-80s to early-90s, so that makes it easy to forget these brave people. They’re all great-grandparents, these old men who attend all the veterans ceremonies each year in their hats and other memorial garb. So that makes it easy to forget them?
We claim that we will “Never Forget” the victims of September 11, 2001, but the truth is, we will. Our society will be full of the same people we have today, people who were born decades after the event and then it’s just something on the pages of a history textbook.
Shame on us.