Tuesday, December 07, 2010

69 Years Ago Today

On a bright and sunny Sunday morning, life was good on the island of Oahu in the Territory of Hawaii. People were getting ready to go to church, frolicking on the beach of Waikiki, trying to get that little extra bit of sleep after a night out on the town the previous night, and simply enjoying life in this tropical paradise.

That all suddenly changed at a little after 8:00 on that fateful morning when airplanes of the Japanese Imperial Navy appeared in the bright blue skies over Pearl Harbor, and other military bases on Oahu, as they unleashed a surprise attack on the United States, sinking or severely damaging the majority of the Navy fleet at anchor, and most of the planes on the ground, in what then President Roosevelt called "A day that will live in infamy."

The attack, which came in two separate waves, shocked the nation out of it's complacency, and propelled us into the most devastating war this world has ever seen. Millions died as we fought to defend freedom. It was very touch and go in the early days of the war, but the Allies ultimately prevailed, defeating the Axis Powers, and restoring a semblance of order to the world.

Although we were at war with Germany, Italy and Japan, and they are now some of our staunchest allies, we must never forget that we were totally unprepared for war, and took a grievous blow in the attack on Pearl Harbor which almost knocked us out of the war before we were really in the war. The lesson of the attack on Pearl Harbor is that we must never let our guard down, and allow ourselves to become complacent in this still dangerous world, with those who oppose our way of life still lined up against us wishing to not only do us harm, but to destroy us and our way of life, as evidenced by the attack on September 11th, 2001.

Never forget.