Thursday, December 6, 2012
Today is a somber day. It’s been 71 years since naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called it a “day that will live in infamy.”
Not only did the Japanese military kill 2,403 American servicemen at Pearl Harbor, but on that same day they also attacked Hong Kong, Malaya, Wake Island and Midway Island.
Roosevelt asked for and got a Congressional declaration of war against Japan. Later, war was also declared against Germany, Italy and other Axis countries and the United States officially entered the already-raging World War II.
Millions of soldiers, sailors and Marines fought in Europe, Asia, Africa, at sea and in the air.
The war and the sad, horrific stories of atrocities and death camps in Nazi Germany and occupied Europe, Africa, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, Pacific Rim countries and more ultimately led to the deaths of somewhere between 62 million and 78 million people.
Tom Brokaw wrote a book in 1998 outlining “The Greatest Generation.”
Some of our readers, their moms and dads, grandparents and many others took up the challenge of fighting against totalitarian governments. They were the Greatest Generation.
Even quick Wikipedia searches on Pearl Harbor and World War II casualties provide stark, sobering reading.
The men and women of America joined with others around the world in 1941 through 1945 to fight against the evil of these regimes.
We went on to fight and win the Cold War against the Soviet Union and its enslavement of millions of people around the world.
It’s fitting now to honor those who died in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the many struggles that have continued, and to keep that resolve of our forbears today as we face new threats around the world.
They are different in purpose, in scope and methodology, but they share common ties in forcing people to do things against their will and in ways that go against the values that most Americans hold dear.
We call on our readers and all Americans to honor those who gave their lives on Dec. 7, 1941 and who fought, bled and in too many cases died in the ongoing struggles against tyranny.
And, we call on all to stand up for what is right and good and just.