Once upon a time, in a small town in a border state, there was a young boy who had a winter sore throat---nothing serious, his family dosed him with a mix of ginger ale and fruit juices, which he loved. But that was why on a snowy Sunday afternoon, he was in his second floor bedroom listening to a concert on CBS Radio.
Suddenly, an excited voice broke in, “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor!” and we were at war.
December 7th was my generation’s 9/11...and almost as many were killed that day as on 9/11...and in the years of war that followed, many millions more.
Looking back this week, on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, one still has questions.
Did FDR work to provoke the war? Was a Kentucky admiral made the scapegoat of our lack of defenses at The Pearl?
Why didn’t the radar people know those Japanese Zeros were not our B-17s flying in from California? Did a midget sub really sink the Oklahoma?
On a larger scale, why did Italy, our ally in WWI become our Axis enemy in WWII? (and how much of that was due to an ex-journalist named Mussolini---elected prime minister on a platform of making Italy great again, before he overthrew its democracy and became dictator...sorry about that, but it’s true, look it up.)
Today, with the passing years, history has changed again. Our Russian allies of WWII are “the enemy” while our foe, the Japanese are staunch friends. President Obama recently made the first trip to Hiroshima of a US president...and the Japanese prime minister has just announced he will be the first to visit Pearl Harbor. Both visits should have have been made years ago.
What enemies now will be friends tomorrow? What friends now won’t be in a decade?
Will a president elected by a faulty Electoral College system rise to greatness, or fail miserably and be impeached, as some experienced historians have suggested?
That small boy who heard the war begin in his sickroom has no way of knowing. He is certain of this---there were many heroes that day 75 years ago in a far-off American territory---they need to be remembered, and celebrated..and we need to remember what things we think are “true” today, may not be so in a very soon tomorrow.
I'm just sayin'...