“What day is it?” For as long as I can remember, my dad would draw us three girls together and ask us this question almost every year on this day, December 7. For the first few years, we did not know, so we would answer with what day of the week it was, thinking he had forgotten. He would tell us that while that answer was correct, it was not the one he was looking for. Racking our little brains, we would come up with no other solution, and he would then begin to tell us the story of Pearl Harbor.
He would tell us that December 7th was important because that was the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. It was a devastating event but also a crucial and intricate part of WWII. He would tell us that Pearl Harbor was significant because that was the day that the US joined the Allies in WWII and changed the course of the conflict.
For the sake of our little short-attention-spanned brains, that was all the information that he would give us, but he made sure that we at least knew that. Over the years, I, like him, though not quite near his level (yet), have become quite the WWII buff. It is just a genuinely fascinating, devastating, and fantastic time that shaped the world and especially our young country. I have learned that not only is Pearl Harbor and the US joining the Allies essential to the war but also American history as a whole.
America grew so much and placed itself as one of the top powers of the world during WWII. Industry boomed during the war, and a sense of unity and proud patriotism was born among its citizens. Who knows if that would have happened if Pearl Harbor didn’t take place. However, on the other side, countless lives were lost during this devastating war. Pearl Harbor, as well, was a disastrous event, that many historians say could have been avoided, but sadly wasn’t.
The victorious outcome of the bitter war came at a high and horrible cost. However, the lives that were lost were not lost in vain. That is why we must remember these events. That is why we must not forget Pearl Harbor. And if not for ourselves than for those men, for those families, for our country. Families were torn apart during the war. The women worked as nurses, and in factories, the men marched to the front lines to defend their families, and the old watched and encouraged those who could work. But through the calamity, our country, our people, and those families grew stronger. Those very families helped ring in victory and a new age for America.
Today is indeed a day that we must never forget. We mourn the lives lost and honor their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those who came after them.
After a few years, my sisters and I finally began to remember and would answer our Dad eagerly and with pride when he would ask what day it was. Now, we sometimes beat him to it, telling him what day it is before he can even ask. It is a memory I’ll always hold dear and remember, and also pass on to my nephew and one day, my own kids.
So my friend join me in remembering WHAT DAY IT IS.