For a number of years, the clouds of war were gathering and we knew it; sabers were rattled by all sides all around the planet, threats were made and answered, Europe was under siege by the Nazis and many of our friends were falling under their Blitzkrieg, all while the rest of the world was holding its breath with worry and anticipation.
Then it happened! Early in the morning on December 7, 1941, seventy-two years ago, the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor was brutally attacked without provocation by the Imperial Japanese Navy. In all, 2402 of our military personnel were killed, a huge segment of our Pacific Fleet lay sunk or crippled, and in a moment, WWII had begun and we were up to our neck in it.
Almost immediately, many of our young men and women of the Greatest Generation found themselves enlisting in the Armed Forces; those that couldn’t for one reason or the other, got involved in civil projects; everyone pitched in where they could, whether it was simply buying War Bonds, serving in local USO shows, running bake sales, praying, or seeing soldiers off ‘trackside’ at North Platte, Nebraska and so many other places. We can never adequately repay this dying breed of heroes for their sacrifices.
We were unified then with a common purpose, and that was to protect and defend our nation at all costs. A lot of things happened during the prosecution of that war that historians downplay and diminish, and we certainly weren’t perfect; however, we did what we had to do and in less than 4 years we had prevailed. Our enemies in both theatres were vanquished and had surrendered, and we began the process of healing and rebuilding.
Compare that to today. We seem to have lost our resolve to win battles and wars; we have rules of engagement that tie the hands of our troops. We have arrested, tried and imprisoned several of them for merely doing their jobs, and we have one young man held as a POW with nothing being done. No longer do potential enemies fear or even respect us, no longer do we crush our foes into surrender; instead, our leaders, up to and including our president, placate them, give them money, aid, weapons, and technology, and encourage them even as they threaten us and our allies and our very way of life.
That has got to change! As we reflect on what happened that tragic day, we need to really consider where we were as a nation at that time, and we need to return to that place in our thinking. To ensure our survival, we must do everything in our power to regain that resolve, we must become the ‘new’ Greatest Generation, and we must fight our enemies with the same determination of that Greatest Generation, and render them a pimple on the butt of history. If we don’t, we will wake up one fine morning to find ourselves merely a blip of that same history wondering what happened. We owe it to them, ourselves, and to our children.Add a comment