In memoriam ... all those whose lives were sacrificed December 7th and after
Commemorating the forever altered lives of so many.…so our families could survive in a continuing free nation.
…some of us recall the day
…some of us recall our parents describing the day
…some of us recall a school history book account of the day
…war’s horrors had once more been set in motion
December 7th gives me pause each year to remember…..that Sunday morning in 1941…..
Mother and I learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor while attending our regular weekly church service. We had arisen that Sunday morning as usual, dressed, ate our breakfast, caught the city bus near our house to ride down town, then walk the few blocks to our church while my high school age brother slept at home. He had taken a job in a supermarket meat department, working until early Sunday morning hours beginning months earlier. Mother didn’t expect him to attend church, knowing he needed the rest.
She remembered WWI – the sacrifices affecting family and friends when she was a young single woman. She had learned then of war’s horrors so knew what another war, possibly on our shores, could mean. She was now the mother of a son who could be called to fight.
I would begin to learn what war meant in the months to come.
The ensuing WWII impacted all our lives in multiple ways. Following high school graduation, because that was the earliest our Mother would sign for him to enlist, my brother finally joined the U.S. Navy where he served in the Pacific Theater – thankfully uninjured when he mustered out at war’s end.
Years after WWII ended he lived on Hawaii's Oahu. Circumstances were such I was with him on an occasion to await the arrival of a young non-military loved one returning from summer employment on Eniwetok -- a Pacific coral atoll – site of a WWII battle – years later the site of the first U.S. H-Bomb test.
Standing on the landing area at Hickam Air Base which had been so viciously strafed – where our Air Force had experienced so much loss that Sunday morning in 1941 – I was acutely aware those many years later of my surroundings tragic history. I also was reminded watching the handsome young man deplaning that he would not have been present had his father not survived his WWII Pacific arena military service. I thought then, and each December 7th, about how many others were not so fortunate.
The veterans who survived the 1941 attack have dwindled in number just as have all WWII veterans, including my brother where he lived his last years on the Big Island of Hawaii. We honor those lives specifically lost on that fateful December 7th. We must not forget those individuals, the lessons of that day, or that war -- World War II.
We want to continue to honor all those who contributed to our countries survival as a nation.
How many people realize that had our country and our Allies in other countries not prevailed in WWII that the USA would not exist as the democratic republic in which we’ve been privileged to live?
The greatest tribute we can offer those who have given so much is to insure our system of government is preserved.