We’ve Forgotten

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.

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10 years ago

Well said. I’m sure time (70 years) has much to do with dulling the memory and significance of the “day of infamy” but like 9/11, it deserves to be a day of remembrance of those brave who died as a result of a foreign attack.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

When one compares 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, there are some interesting aspects. Japan’s attack on us was motivated by our refusal to sell them oil, at the time we were a major exporter (I think we should have done, they were using it to invade China). Part of the sub-text of the War on Terror is to keep Middle East oil flowing in our direction.
I wonder how 9/11 will be viewed in 70 years. Following Pearl Harbor, and at least into the 60’s, Japanese were regarded as savages, which they were despite extensive rationalization. Now, according to “The Last Samurai”, they are almost holy in that savagery. We are taught to “understand” their code of Bushido, and admire the Samurai. At the same time Knights Templar are depicted as illiterate killing machines. That I suppose is the difference, Samurai were literate killing machines.
In 70 years, will we have “reformed” the Muslim Terrorists into “children of God”?
Interestingly, the Samurai, Knights Templar and Muslim Terrorists hold their lives to be without value in the service of their god, or master.

10 years ago

Very interesting.
A lot has changed … I don’t think human nature has significantly changed but our culture and divisiveness (especially politically) which currently dominate has changed. For example, for many those terrorists have already been referred to as “children of God”. Their acts justified as a legitimate response against U.S. foreign policy. And, as you mention, their savagery is almost admired as holy because it is in service of their god. The irony to me is that the same acts done by U.S citizens in the name of Judeo-Christian God or Country would be rightfully considered heinous. That is the horrific double-standard based on political affiliation or ideological prejudice.

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