Pearl Harbor Day

Dec 7, 2018 | 1 comment

Infamy:   evil reputation brought about by something grossly criminal, shocking, or brutal

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

“December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…”  It was the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed and I remember listening to the radio as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke those words to Congress when he asked them for a declaration of war.  I was “five-going-on-six” and I remember it all clearly – the barbed wire on the beaches, the Victory gardens, the tinfoil drives, the air-raid wardens and rationing books, Kilroy, Lucky Green going to war, and being allotted only one pair of shoes a year – unless you were a kid.  We got two.

We hadn’t been at war – not with anyone—for five years, which at that point was my entire life.  I had no idea what a Big Deal that really was.  Perhaps no one else did either at the time.  As it turns out, that five-year period from 1935 through 1940 has been the longest time the United States has been at peace in our 232-year history. Both beforehand and afterwards we’ve had several periods as long as three years without being involved in a war, most recently 1976, 1977, and 1978 after the Vietnam War.  But mostly… we live with war.

IF you were born after 1978, you may have memory of two separate years that were not  involved in a major war – 1997 and 2000.  Other than that… not so much.  Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.

Gun-toting Robotic Combat Robots

Yes, FDR had it right.  We remember Pearl Harbor – at least some of us do.  But how many more days of infamy have we forgotten?  When did we and the rest of the world go numb? Perhaps it was when researchers began using their knowledge of how human emotion develops to try to build robots that can feel.  But are they teaching those bots to remember?  Especially, to remember the important things?  Like Pearl Harbor.

1 Comment

  1. Jack Russell Stone

    Amazing what a 5-yo can remember after 75+ years. BTW, it’s Lucky Strike green goes to war, some chemical in green ink was necessary for the military, so they changed the label to red. As you point out 1935-1940 was peaceful for us, Hitler was preparing for war, and our Nazi sympathizers, like my mother, were ignoring was about to happen. My new stepfather was called back into service and assigned to the USS Nevada, one the ships in your picture of Pearl Harbor, but he was in the Naval Hospital in San Diego being treated for ulcers, the same ones that kept him from the S-4 submarine disaster in WW1! I love telling that every chance I get. So, you’re home from the ER, and apparently doing well–good news. Nancy may not have told you about her ambulance ride about 6 weeks ago–unconscious. She’s okay now, too.

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