When I was in the classroom last year on December 7th, I was horrified by the number of students who didn’t know why this date was an important date in our nation’s history. Granted, I am a science teacher so it’s not like they would have learned it from me (and thus held them accountable for not remembering!) but I still gave them a history lesson nonetheless.
Long story short, I am a big fan of soldiers, seamen, marines, cadets, [insert title of servicemember here], etc. I am also very proud to be an American and am thankful for the sacrifices that men and women have made on behalf of our country throughout the years. I realize that a lot of folks have issues with how the military is run, what we do with our military might, and generally the idea of using force to convince people around the world to do that we as the United States of America thinks is best. But that’s not what I want to bring up today.
I want us to remember and be grateful for the people who lost their lives readying the fleet to protect our borders – as well as the rights of others – at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.
As we continue to lose more and more World War II veterans each year, we lose the untold stories of heroism – the grand stuff they make into mini series like Band of Brothers and The Pacific and the everyday, keeping stuff running kind – as well as a respect for the greater good and the value of working hard for something bigger than yourself. Sometimes I wonder if I was supposed to have lived during that time because I find myself yearning for more of us to have a bigger perspective, to look outside ourselves, see what needs to be done, and be willing to sacrifice our own comforts and desires to make life better for someone else. Another reason I think [Ben and] I would have fit in there is because my [awesome!] husband embodies a lot of the same character qualities of the men of that [Greatest] generation (coined by Tom Brokaw but written about by many). If you want to read more in a short glance, check out this blog post that pulls out and discusses seven key components of this grand group of people (yes, the post is titled “7 Lessons in Manliness from the Greatest Generation”…I love it!).
So take a second and remember. Be thankful. Send up a prayer for those that died, those that sacrificed by losing family members, and especially those that continue to serve both at home and abroad. And regardless of what you think politically, support active duty military and veterans in any way you can.