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Remembering those that took on the battles

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Most people alive now can't remember Dec. 7, 1941 because they were born after that infamous day when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

A lot of time has passed since then, but it was truly a defining moment in United States history. Overnight we went from being a country that did not want to be involved in an Asian or European war to one that became one of the biggest players in international power that the world has ever known.

To those of us in the Baby Boomer generation we have never known a time of total war, nor a time of depression. Since we were kids our country has been the predominant power in the world, both economically and militarily.

This preeminence we owe to our parents and grand parents. They built a very strong base for us to construct upon. They did it with sweat, hard work and sacrifice. A large part of that sacrifice was winning World War II so we would have a country that was free and where people could succeed.

Today many people relate to the 9-11 attacks because it happened within their recent memory. There was a lot of bravery on that day too. Firefighers and police gave their lives trying to save people in the twin towers. And then there was Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. While we never will know the whole story, we know that a group of passengers got together and made sure that plane would not crash into the White House or where ever the terrorists were taking it.

Pearl Harbor was mainly an attack on a military base, while 9-11 was an attack largely on civilians. But the deceit with which both were done was the same. A few people wanting to run the world their way, with their beliefs, took the lives of others in the name of their cause.

If you ask most people today, few can even name the names of the ships that were sunk at Pearl Harbor; some don't even know the significance of the event. To them it was ancient times.

It's hard to get people interested in the past because so many of them are so caught up in their own lives and times. They see the past as something done and that we should just forget about it. I worry that this mind set is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Some say it shows resilience. I think it shows self centeredness.

Each Memorial Day and Veterans Day, dozens of vets, many that fought in World War II present programs honoring their fallen comrades. In some cases there are more veterans in line performing the program than there are people watching the event.

It seems a sad commentary that when people get wealthy and their stomachs are full, they forget about those that helped them to achieve that state of wellness.

We all need to take step back and think of those that died for us, whether it be at Pearl Harbor or in Afganistan.

They all count whether it be 69 years ago or yesterday.




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