It was the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor that led to my getting involved in aircraft restoration, and my private pledge to do what I could to see that my generation and later did not forget. I happened to mention that it was Pearl Harbor day, and a fellow undergrad asked, ‘What’s Pearl Harbor?” She had never heard of the attack, at least not that she recalled. And so I took up the gauntlet.
So much ink and so many pixels have been spilled over the event, the background, “who was at fault”, a question that always makes me wonder if the questioner remembers that the Japanese played a role in events, the archaeology and new discoveries about the ships, especially the Arizona, that it seems a little silly to post anything about the attack.
I have nothing deep or profound to say, other than that we should not forget. In 1991 it seemed as if nothing like Pearl Harbor could ever happen again. Desert Storm had been won and a new, peaceful world order was developing to replace the Cold War. Liberal democracies would take over the world, and history, in the sense of conflicts of creed and nation-state, seemed to be turning into a thing of the past. Would my generation remember the wars, the sacrifices, the stories? It seemed as if we might not, and so I decided to do what I could. That led to restoring aircraft, and a series of flying jobs, and some magnificent memories and teachable moments. And then along came 9/11/01, and what did I do? Read about the enemy, learned as much as I could, and I found ways to fight back via the Internet as part of the YouTube Smackdown and an active member of the community at The Blog That Shall Not Be Named. Then I supported the blogs that came from there, The Jawa Report, Gates of Vienna, JihadWatch, and the like.
But today, 75 years ago, was “a day that shall live in infamy.”
“They shall not grow old as we grow old.”
Lest We Forget.