Today, Dec. 7, is Pearl Harbor Day. America was attacked at our military base in Hawaii by the Japanese in 1941 sending us into World War II.
My father-in-law was born on Dec. 7, 1907, and always said the 1941 birthday was one he would never forget.
Patriotism came out in full force and people started signing up for the military following the attack. They were ready and willing to serve. It would probably be safe to assume almost every family had at least one family member or friend serving during World War II.
A friend of mine, a World War II Veteran, recently sent me a short version of the authentic speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt made on Dec. 8, 1941, declaring war.
I had read at least parts of the speech and heard bits and pieces on war movies, but when I put the CD in the player and listened to President Roosevelt's words it gave me chill bumps.
I was not born when World War II started or ended but I heard stories from some of my relatives on how hard it was with so many family members gone serving in the military.
In those days it took a little longer for news to travel around but I am sure within a few days, most everyone knew what was going on and knew that many people had lost their lives at Pearl Harbor. They knew America was at war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor hit 18 U.S. ships with 2,335 service causalities and 68 civilian casualties, along with 1,178 people wounded in the initial attack.
Many served and many gave their lives in the four years which started for America on Dec. 7 -- 69 years ago.
Many movies have been made about World War II and I am sure my Dad probably watched them all and could tell you all of the history facts from the start of the war until the finish. He was too young to serve in World War II but I am sure they heard reports daily at school and around the family dinner table.
We could wish World War II would have ended all wars, but it was not to be. We had Korea just a few years after World War II, then Vietnam, and now we are in Iraqi and Afghanistan.
I worry about our young people and some of our not so young people who don't seem to have respect for the words "In God We Trust" or what the American Flag stands for, or the sacrifices our soldiers make. I wish they all had the opportunity to sit and talk to our people who have served in times of war and people who have lived in countries where they do not have the freedom we enjoy.
It has been almost 70 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor but most anyone who was old enough to remember the day can probably tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they got the word. I also would guess the ones who were survivors of Pearl Harbor in 1941 can still give us a vivid account of the historical events.
Dec. 7 is a day in our history to remember.