Reflections 70 years after Pearl Harbor

Even though I was not alive on December 7, 1941, I have a memory of December 7… only it was 1991.  I can well remember that it was a cold and snowy Saturday, the 50th anniversary of the “Day of Infamy”.  I asked my 8-year-old if she knew what Pearl Harbor was, thinking that since it was the 50th anniversary maybe her teacher had talked about it.

She had absolutely no idea what I was talking about…

So I thought I might prompt her memory and said, “Did your teacher say anything about what this is the anniversary of?”

“Oh, you’re talking about the day the rotten Americans dropped the Bomb on the poor Japanese!”

Reeling, I asked, “Is that what your learned in school about today?”

“Yes, you see 50 years ago today, Americans nuked the Japanese for no reason!”

Growing up, I had a different understanding of December 7th!

On that day, my Dad had recently returned to California from Hawaii where he had served in the Army Air Corps.  Some of the USAAF facilities that had been hitt were places he had known very well; those who had been killed and maimed were his buddies… he could speak of the attack as though it were yesterday. The emotions and regrets were fresh and alive, even 25 years later when he spoke of these things.  My mind was ablaze at the contrast between the way I had learned about Pearl Harbor and the way my daughter had been sold a bill of goods on the occasion of the 50th anniversary…

I can only imagine what it would have been like to have been there in 1941; I can only imagine what it would have been like to be in the States hearing the news.  Of course we all got an education of sorts in September of 2001…

There are some historical events that must be remembered and taught accurately, where we cannot allow political correctness and revisionism to ‘change’ things for whatever ‘good’ reason.  These events are just too important; just too basic to National survival to let the truth be trampled by political mischief.  December 7 and September 11 are things like that.  There are many others as well.

Needless to say, I set my daughter straight about her history lesson, starting with just who the terrible Americans are!  The next Monday, hoping that she had just misunderstood, I had a little chat with the teacher, who gave me a lecture on diversity, racism and jingoism… she  didn’t seem to like me much after our visit….  I felt that I owed at least that much to my Dad, not to mention all of his buddies who were still on post back in Hawaii on that terrible day,  and to all of those who served and gave their all in defense of Freedom in the years that have followed.

Remember Pearl Harbor, and all of those who sacrificed that we might live in freedom, so that idiots can feel free to change history to advance a political point of view no matter how ridiculous.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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1 Response to Reflections 70 years after Pearl Harbor

  1. That was really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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