I guess for most Americans living today the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, seems like ancient history. It does not seem like that to me. As I was growing up in the Sixties I was surrounded by adults who recalled Pearl Harbor. My father, who was 8 years old at the time of the attack, remembered the long lines the next morning in our small town of men waiting outside of the recruiting offices of the Army and Navy to join up. He also conveyed to me the shock of a nation one moment at peace, and the next morning at war. Until September 11, 2001, I really didn’t fully comprehend what my father was talking about.
It is important to recall Pearl Harbor to remember that the safety and security we enjoy can be wrenched from us so easily if we are not vigilant, and also to recall the 2350 Americans who died that day. I have written about one of them here, Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Navy chaplain, who died on the USS Oklahoma saving other men. These men deserve to be remembered and to have prayers said for their souls and today I will do both, and I hope you will join me.
Update: 15 men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor that day, 10 of the recipients dying that day. One of the Medal of Honor winners, John Finn, is still alive recently turning 100. Go here to read about these very brave men.