Eighty-One Years Ago

By John Brewer

When I was growing up, the old folks used to ask, “Where were you on December seventh?”  Most of them are gone now, seeing that 80+ years have passed.

I don’t remember that day, I wasn’t born yet, however my father did.  He was there when the Empire of Japan pulled off a sneak attack on the US Pacific Fleet base in Hawaii.  About the only thing he told me was, “The planes were so low you could see the pilots had slanted eyes.”  My dad didn’t talk about the war much, but heroes usually don’t.

Red River Parish has lost several well-known citizens from the WWII era recently.  At best there are only a few military vets of the conflict left.  And there has not been much notice in the media leading up to today’s anniversary.

American was not totally united about going to war until the attack on December 7, 1941 occurred.  The America First movement had been holding rallies and famed aviator Charles Lindberg had advocated for America to remain neutral.  But the Japanese attack put an end to Lindberg’s opposition to the war.

A famous saying is that if you don’t learn the lessons of history you will repeat them!

A couple of thoughts from your editor to assure generation after generation of Americans learns about and remembers Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to congress that began “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Perhaps the current generation of Americans won’t have to go through another world war.

Photo Credit:  National Archives.  USS Arizona burning during attack on Pearl Harbor.

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