What does today, December 7th mean to you? Does it remind you of all those lost at Pearl Harbor? Does it remind you of the suffering that went on? For me it is a bit deeper than that. My father was a small child living in Hawaii with his family and remembers seeing the planes going overhead. I have always been one of those that remember the past and the challenges we have gone through.
I remember being raised in the family and people thought it was strange that I was used to the fact that my father had a strange accent, they didn’t understand that he was from Hawaii, all they knew was he would go to visit family and come home sounding strange. For me that was normal. Just like every December 7th, remembering those who were lost. Taking a few minutes to stop and remember the pain that they went through. Those trying to survive by jumping in the water only to have the oil from the ship’s be on fire. The men who were lost in the USS Arizona when she went down.
Then I remember that the Japanese Americans suffered as well. Put into internment camps due to their families having come here for a better life. Having people not willing to talk to them due to their nationality. Having to sell their businesses at and move due to fear.
Then I remember that while the Emperor of Japan ruled the country, the military had taken over. He was mostly a figurehead. Most of the Japanese people had never heard him speak until he announced the surrender of Japan.
We look at the world through the eyes of the ones who haven’t seen that type of horror. We lived through 9/11 but we found a way to make it. We didn’t do what the young men and women did in 1941. The war was very real to them. They had known of the forces building up and German aggressions, they knew that the Italians were trying to rebuild the Roman Empire but that was a ‘European conflict’. They knew that the Japanese were trying to get more territory but they thought the oceans would keep them safe.
Remember to defend your homeland, not through hatred, through love and understanding. Remember that walls don’t work. Isolation doesn’t fix the problem it is a set of blinders that will cause a problem.
Take the time to say Thank you to a Veteran!