December 7, then and now

“December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy,” is how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described that horrible day 76 years ago today when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Those who are old enough to remember can still describe what they were doing and how they felt when they received the bone-chilling news that Sunday morning that the United States had been attacked and would be joining a war that had already been raging in Europe and the South Pacific. What followed was renewed patriotism in this country with everyone pulling together to support the war effort.

Modern-day Americans know the horror we felt when our nation was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Our world has been forever changed by that tragedy and subsequent terrorist attacks both on our soil and abroad.

If you are fortunate enough to know someone who belonged to that “greatest generation” or a World War II vet, ask them to relay their memories of the Pearl Harbor attack to you. Don’t waste time though, that generation is rapidly passing on. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 362 die each day and only 558,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive in 2017.

And while you’re talking to a member of the WWII generation, be sure you ask them specifically about how Americans at home joined in the effort to defeat Nazi Germany and the Imperial Japanese. America needs a renewal of patriotism and we must resolve to protect our way of life. Just as we did in World War II, America must join with our allies and defeat our enemies, both at home and abroad.

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