Monday, December 7, 2009

Did you remember Pearl Harbor Day today?

USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, HI
To many of the “older generation” - especially the few that are still alive and kicking who fought in World War Two, December 7th holds a special meaning. On the early morning of December 7, 1941, the then Empire of Japan launched a sneak-attack lead by Admiral Yamamoto on the US Pacific Naval fleet moored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Thousands of lives – both military and civilians – were lost that day – the day that then President Roosevelt told congress and America would “live in infamy”.

This attack spurred the United States to declare war on the Empire of Japan which launched “The Pacific War” portion of World War Two - and brought America officially into the war. It gave rise to the phrase “Remember Pearl Harbor” as a battle cry for pushing forward in beating the Japanese Empire back to its homeland of Japan, the long fought and very bloody battle of Iwo Jima – where the raising of the American Flag on top of the island's highest peak, Mt. Suribachi, by US Marines is immortalized in a metal statue in Arlington, VA, the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway – Midway Atoll, where if the Japanese Empire had a stronghold there, would have been able to launch air attacks on US soil past Hawaii. It is also the starting point that lead to the deployment of the first atomic bombs to ever be used in war to be dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire on the USS Missouri (“The Mighty MO) to General Douglass McArthur. That attack changed America forever, and set forth a new path for both the United States and Japan – once bitter enemies, now allies.

Yet, since the September 11th terrorist attacks, this pivotal moment in time barely makes a blip on the minds of Americans – only remembered by our parents and grandparents who either lived through or fought in World War II. The search giant Google didn't even make one of their “Google search graphics” of their letter logo to point to a search of Pearl Harbor information. Bing has a backdrop image of Pearl Harbor today, Yahoo has “Pearl Harbor” as #2 on it's POPULAR SEARCHES block, and CNN has a buried text link that just says “Intriguing people of December 7, 2009”. The Net doesn't seem to pay much attention to it unless you go looking for Pearl Harbor information.

Today is the 68th anniversary of the attack. What are you doing to remember those that died on December 7, 1941? Will there be a televised reading of all the names of those that died on 12/7? Will a maritime bell be rung for each sailor that died that day? Will the primary stations of your area be presenting an all-day program remembering Pearl Harbor Day?

Think about it.

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