Today is December 7th. This is a day that has, indeed, lived in infamy. On this day in 1941, America was savagely and unnecessarily attacked by the nation of Japan. While many revisionists are content with apologist attitudes for the atomic bombs that were dropped to end the war years later, they conveniently glance over the flying sucker-punch lobbed at our Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor.
To that end, I urge everyone to take a moment and remember the sacrifices of thousands of soldiers who dedicated and lost their lives in defense of a nation that they truly loved. I have spoken with many World War II vets over the years and they all usually say the same thing- “My country called. I didn’t even think about not joining up. It’s what you did.”
And this commitment has been the enduring legacy of the appropriately-labeled “Greatest Generation.” After surviving the hardships of the Great Depression, the Greatest Generation picked themselves up and fought a two-front war against evil.
My grandfather, Smokey (he was from the great state of Tennessee and earned the nickname that would last the rest of his life in bootcamp), saw the attack from the island. A typical sailor of the times, he was a drinker and a fighter and had incurred a punishment that had him off the ship that morning. He distinguished himself by rescuing his comrades from the water, picking up wounded sailors and limbs all day and rushing them to the hospital. Unwilling to stop for a moment, he was eventually hospitalized for exhaustion.
Today, I want to take a moment and salute my departed grandfather and all of his comrades, living and deceased, for all that they did and all that they endured. I urge all readers in the strongest possible terms to please take a moment from the comparatively petty squabbles of our lives to remember the sacrifices made at Pearl Harbor.