Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Disappearing Anniversary

Last year was the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Pearl Harbor Day was the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which was not yet one of the 50 United States.  Japan declared war on the United States shortly after the attack. The United States declared war on Japan the next day, and Germany declared war on the United States three days later.

The official death toll of Pearl Harbor was 2,403.

 December 7 is a day meaningful to the generation that preceded mine - the generation that is sometimes called "The Greatest Generation".  In the same way, November 22 is that date for my generation -  the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.  For a newer generation, January 28 is the date the shuttle Challenger exploded not long after liftoff.  There is September 11, 2001. For the people of India, there is what they call "26/11" in their way of writing dates, the terrible Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008.

But the anniversary of Pearl Harbor may not live on for too much longer.  Eyewitnesses to the attack are dying of old age.  Take the most famous ship in that attack, the USS Arizona.  As of July of this year, there were five survivors still alive.

My parents are long gone.  If my Dad, a World War II veteran, was still alive, he would be over 100. The man who is interviewed above (his parents immigrated from Mexico) is 105 now.  Ray Chavez, a World War II combat veteran, survived Pearl Harbor and still remembers it. And Pearl Harbor wasn't the only tragic thing that happened to him, as he weathered the tragic death of his daughter, grandchild and son in law in a car accident.

This is a report on his 105th birthday celebration.

Yes, he still works out twice a week with a personal trainer.

And he says "I am not a hero".

I disagree.

We must never forgot our history.   Without knowing what has come before, we don't know the consequences of what happens today.  We can not make good decisions about what is happening now.  Not just on December 7, but every day.

10 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, in America today, I think there are many who wouldn't know Pearl Harbor from Pearl Bailey.

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  2. Not quite the shot heard round the world. But, it did end the "America First" campaign of that era. Because of the disastrous results. Hmm. Do we have to wait for North Korea to bomb us to realize the stupidity of the rebirth of this bad notion?

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  3. My father served at the very tail end of the war. If he were still with us,he would be 90 years old now.

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  4. We MUST remember!
    "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!"

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  5. Very true. And I must come back and watch the interview after work. Thank you.

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  6. Ah yes. I did notice the date this morning. As it gets further away, it's easy to forget. Sad how these things pass out of the memories of those living.

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  7. Yes. we shouldn't forget history. It teaches us lessons about what is good and bad.

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  8. It is sad when heroes fade away in memory but equally it is true that each generation has a different day that remains in their consciousness forever .

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  9. We must never forgot our history. Without knowing what has come before, we don't know the consequences of what happens today. We can not make good decisions about what is happening now
    History is the best teacher.If we dont know our history we will make the same mistake.Its important we learn and remember our history.
    On the same page with you about this ,plants a,gardening and a lot of things.Just followed you on Pinterest.

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  10. So very true. I’m glad you shared this post for us. Got to know a lot of facts.

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