Archive for the ‘Miscillaneous’ Category

This is a rare off topic post, but, well, it’s my blog so I’ll post what I want. And what I want is to remember this day, what it meant for us as a nation, and the sacrifice it represents from our men and women in the armed forces. The bombing of Pearl Harbor is fading too far into our collective memories; sadly, I would wager that the majority of my generation couldn’t tell you what day the Pearl Harbor attacks happened, let alone their significance. Many will relate it to 9/11, but (and I am in absolutely no way diminishing the significance or loss of life on 9/11) Pearl Harbor was a “bigger” event by orders of magnitude. It marks the last time in history that our nation was attacked by another nation. The Empire of Japan didn’t want to destabilize our economy or strike back for this or that terrorist being killed or captured, they wanted to conquer our country, to wipe the United States off the map and turn us into a Japanese colony like Manchuria. We had not been attacked in more than a century, and never in the age of modern warfare. It was scary and terrifying, and for much of the populace it was like suddenly waking up to discover that the nightmare you had been having was real; the forces of evil, intolerance and hatred were literally marching their armies all over the face of the earth and taking it for themselves, replacing centuries or even millennia of culture with some of the worst forms of institutionalized evil and brutality ever seen. But we rose to the challenge. Our leaders saw the enormity of the threat before us and inspired a cowed populace to action. They didn’t tell us it would be easy or without sacrifice; in fact quite the opposite. But it was necessary, because if we didn’t stop the Axis then no one would. And so with teeth grit and hearts steeled we did what had to be done, and we saved the world.

To me, WWII has always been the closest thing to the Lord of the Rings in real life. It is the last time we saw the world in a truly epic struggle, before pop culture had robbed the word epic of any of it’s meaning. It was a parable of sorts for me growing up, the undeniable proof that when it gets down to it, there is fundamentally more good in the world than evil, that when all seems lost you can still never count out what can be accomplished by those fighting for what is right and what is just in the world. It reminds us of a time when America could be as big as its ideas when no idea was too big. a time for boldness and innovation and conviction, things that are all sadly lacking in our leaders these days.

Finally, this is a day on which I am very personally thankful. My fiance’s grandfather served on the USS Missouri and had been scheduled to work on December 7th, 1941. A friend had traded shifts with him (I believe so one of them could go on a date) and in so doing saved his life. If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t be engaged to the wonderful woman I share my life with since she would have never come into this world. That is why today, more than anything else, I am thankful; I am thankful for my fiance, I am thankful for America, I am thankful for all the men and women who continue to defend our country and lay down their lives for it, and I am thankful for all the people past and present who have had the strength of conviction to never settle for an unjust world.