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Pearl Harbor attack resonates, should provide lessons

December 7, 2012
The Mining Journal

Seventy-one years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt uttered these oft-quoted words: "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

That, of course, was the date the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, sending the United States into the thick of World War II. Some 2,402 Americans died in the attack and another 1,282 were wounded.

As we remember Pearl Harbor today, the 71st anniversary of the surprise attack, we salute the remaining veterans who survived the unprovoked Japanese bombing - their number grows smaller every day - and we remember all of those Pearl Harbor vets who have passed on.

The number of WWII veterans in this country is dwindling, so it's crucial the generations that came after remember the bravery of these men and women and the sacrifices those back home made to contribute to the war effort.

Sure, our country may be going through a rough patch now, but compared to what the Second World War era was like, we are indeed fortunate.

We are blessed because our predecessors, the Greatest Generation, answered the call when this country - and all it stands for - most needed them.

As Roosevelt said in his famous speech, which was made to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941: "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."

And indeed, as a country united, America emerged stronger after World War II.

That unity is what today's politicians should aspire to, despite their differences, rather than to tussle and fight over the smallest issues, creating a virtual deadlock in our nation.

In remembering the example of the World War II generation, our country's modern-day leaders should come away with a resolve to do that generation of heroes proud by finding ways to resolve the unnecessary in-fighting that could irreparably damage the way of life so many made the ultimate sacrifice to protect.



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