I’m feeling a little emotional today. As most of you know, today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The events of that day changed so many people’s lives and shaped the future for generations to come. There was a wonderful documentary on the History channel about it last night, followed by the Ben Affleck movie, Pearl Harbor (and yes, I know some people think that movie is cheesy, but I really liked it.) But the events of that day were shocking and unifying and definitely something to be remembered.
Winston Churchill said once (and I paraphrase) that he knew as soon as Pearl Harbor happened and the United States entered into World War II, that Adolph Hitler’s fate was sealed. And he knew that not only because of the military might that the United States would bring, but I also believe he knew that because of the resolve and spirit of American citizens to defend and fight for principles that are worth dying for.
I have a son who wants to join the military when he is old enough. It scares me to think about it, but I am also proud of the ideals that he holds dear. Freedom is a precious thing and something that is often taken for granted. I hope that doesn't happen in my family, and that my children can see what a privilege it is to have the ability to make so many of their life choices.
As we approach the holiday season and the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and planning family get-togethers, with the chorus of Peace on Earth ringing in our ears, I am reminded of how bleak a Christmas it would have been for those who lost loved ones at Pearl Harbor. And while peace on earth is an elusive ideal in our world today, I still continue to hope that, at this time of year especially, we will remember those who have sacrificed everything to defend freedom.
I hope you take a bit of time today to talk to your children about what the attack on Pearl Harbor meant to this country and to its citizens. And maybe tell them how grateful you are to live in a country that offers so much to so many. It’s important to make sure our children and grandchildren know the values and principles that those men and women, both those who died and those who survived Pearl Harbor, knew---that the defense of freedom is worth fighting for.