Today we remember and mourn the lives lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It was the day that pushed America into World War II. It was the day that not only forever changed that generation, but also changed America as we know it to be today.
My grandfathers were young men in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Members of the greatest generation, they fought for liberty and their country. They were the lucky ones, they came home in one piece. 2,403 young men died at Pearl Harbor and 1,178 came home with battle scars.
Pearl Harbor was a turning point in American history. It forced Americans to come together as one nation and take a stand against tyranny and oppression. Just as Americans came together after 9/11 60 years later, we were forced to see our sameness instead our differences.
In Judaism, when someone dies, we say “may their memory be a blessing”. May the memories of those who died at Pearl Harbor be a blessing to those who knew and loved them.
Today is the anniversary of the first day of World War II. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The European Theater of World War II started soon after. The United States waited a year and a half to enter the war. It was not until the Japanese destroyed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, that America sent her sons to fight.
Two questions come up on this 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II.
1. I wonder what the leaders of the then free world would say about today’s leaders and their response to world events?
2. I wonder how today’s world leaders would respond to the events that led up to World War II? Would they step up and do what needed to be done or would they use tip toe diplomacy and hope that it keeps some sort of fragile peace?
Oh wait, they did that. The Allies gave Hitler Czechoslovakia in hopes of appeasing him and the Nazis. We all know how that turned out.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Are you listening, Mr. Obama?