Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Day.

It’s certainly one of the most haunting days in US history for me.  It created an inevitability, but that destiny wasn’t known for at least 3, maybe 4 years.  Its cost was immeasurable in lives, in dollars, and in fear, anger, hatred, and anguish.  It defined an entire generation, and still has lasting effects on our daily lives.

On my recent assignment to COMSUBSOUTH in Naples, Italy, I had the opportunity to visit the beaches of Anzio.  It was at night, and the memorial was closed, but you could hear the surf and feel the wind in your hair.  The fortifications are still there, and that Mediterranean Southwestern wind is fairly haunting late at night.  The Anzio campaign, Operation Shingle, was not a tactical victory, although it was strategically important, despite its critics.

Regardless of your military acumen or historical knowledge, take the time today to consider what happened 68 years ago today, and think of the consequences of that action.  The US victory is WWII is one of the defining moments in our history, and is what made us, eventually, the most powerful nations in the world, and a leading force in the entirity of the last sixty years.  Remember what the Arizona and her crew went through; think about what the denizens of Hawaii saw that day.  Consider what happened to our nation over the next bloody four years.  If you cannot imagine it, watch that recent (horrible) Pearl Harbor movie, and pick out the line by the navy nurse, “I don’t know what to do!”  Remember that, and find  a veteran of the Greatest Generation, and tell him or her thank you.  You’ve only got a few years left to do so.

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