December 7, 1941. We still remember, but it is fast becoming a fading memory. As the greatest generation passes, its children still bare the torch. Yet, we have our own set of attacks, disasters, and pivotal turning points to deal with as well. However, on this day I pause. This attack changed the world like no other before it, and I think I can safely say like no other after it. I have had two great opportunities in my lifetime to remember and honor those who were there on “a date which will live in infamy“.
The first was a chance to produce an interview with a local individual who was present on that date, and did his part to combat the enemy on a Sunday morning 76 years ago. He was one of several men we interviewed as part of a Lessons in Liberty series, with High School students as interviewers, that was done with the support of our veteran organizations. Mr. Crane has passed, but below is his interview.
My second opportunity was to visit Pearl Harbor, and the USS Arizona Memorial and take a moment of silence to remember all the men – 2,403 killed and 1,178 wounded – who without warning were attacked at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time by the Japanese.
The memorial is accessible only by shuttle boat. The minute you step off that launch you feel different. There is a quiet peace at this grave site. The memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship (not touching it), and is divided into three parts. It is the assembly room that has an opening in the floor overlooking the sunken decks. It was here that most everyone on our tour stopped, wondered, and a few us even said a little prayer. On the back of the memorial a marble wall is engraved with the names of those killed. It was a moving experience for this son of a World War II veteran.
Pearl Harbor, the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine, the World Trade Center, the recent Las Vegas rampage, we have so many who were unexpectedly attacked and taken from us. No matter the generation, I encourage to you Remember them ALL – Forever!