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Friday, November 28, 2014

Pearl Harbor Day

On December 7, 1941, the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the next day on the radio President Roosevelt announced the start of World War II. During that time, my grandfather was in the service. A burst appendix kept him confined to his ship off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands on the day of the bombing  One of my favorite stories that he told was about his time in Hawaii. Days after the bombs, fires, and smoke cleared, the black and white pictures of him in his armed service suit with arms around fellow soldiers and native islanders, and with a big grin spread across his face, said it all! 

I remember the faraway look in his eyes as he spoke of an island rich in beauty and steeped in culture--until the bombing. Since history is not politically correct, what remains important is that we have learned from past mistakes, such as the atrocities of World War II, and we have rebuilt friendships and mended burned bridges. The end of World War II brought democracy and peace to many European nations. Yet, in today's politically correct society, Pearl Harbor Day is often overlooked. However, it's a day that we should say "Thank you" to our World War II veterans. 

To learn more about Pearl Harbor, the Pacific National Monument, and to view videos of survivors' stories of the day that changed history, visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial National Park Service website

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