Pearl Harbor Day Reflections

Today is December 7th, the day that FDR so famously said would “live in infamy.” Over the years, I’ve been privileged to meet many who were there that day and been honored by hearing their stories. If you’re interested in getting the point of view of some more Pearl Harbor survivors click here as well as the U.S.S. Arizona site.

I remember my Dad’s Pearl Harbor story too. He was 8-years-old when he heard the news that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Sunday afternoon after the assault, he and his sister were playing outside when a private plane passed overhead. Already a little jumpy from hearing the news over the radio, my father and his sister were fully convinced that the Japanese were now bombing Southwest Virginia as well, and they ran into the house screaming for their lives.

I thought about this story when my family flew into New York City for a vacation earlier this year.I wondered what my sons were thinking as we approached Manhattan, the gap where the World Trade Center once stood conspicuous against the Gotham skyline. Were they watching through the cabin windows wondering what the passengers of the the two commercial airliners-turned cruise missiles were seeing–and thinking–in those terrifying moments before their lives ended in the explosive inferno of 9/11?

For my sons, 9/11 is their Pearl Harbor Day. I hope I live long enough to hear their adult recollections of that day and the lessons they learned about life, good and evil.