Lest we forget … today is the 69th anniversary of the sneak attack on the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii where 2,403 American servicemen and women lost their lives. This years event was attended by just 120 survivors as due to advancing age there are fewer remaining each year. That attack thrust the US into World War II and a total of 405,399 American military personnel lost their lives in combat and non-combat roles during the resulting conflict. Fast forward to the next and most recent cowardly attack on American soil where 2,977 Americans died as a result of the various attacks perpetrated by 19 terrorists on 9-11-2001. Those events led to an ensuing ‘War on Terrorism” that continues to this day. Loss of American military lives also continues. Over 5,500 service men and women have died as a result of combat and non-combat duties in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.
As I write this I think of my own son who began basic training for the US Marine Corps on Paris Island, SC yesterday. Many Marines perished at Pearl during the attack 69 years ago. And on the eve of such a momentous anniversary and with thoughts of defending freedom, patriotism and duty in his head he boarded a bus, then a plane and yet another bus to begin his journey and fulfill his destiny and ours as a country. I wish him well and pray for his safety, but more that that, on this anniversary, I pray that after 69 years as a planet we all learn something from history.
Remember our service men and women … not just on anniversaries of cowardly and horrific acts of war, or on memorial day each year. But every day …. Lest we forget.