Our view: Pearl Harbor still offers vital lessons

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Seventy-five years ago, our nation was shaken to its core on a day President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to as a “date which will live in infamy.”

We must always remember the 2,403 men and women who died in the Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and never forget the lessons we learned as a nation.

The attacks showed us that America must remain vigilant — now more than ever — because our enemies are always looking for ways to strike a blow against democracy and our way of life.

If the world wars taught us anything, it should be that isolationism simply does not work and the problems of the world cannot be ignored.

This is perhaps more important than ever in our history and as technology continues to shrink the globe.

Even the greatest military force can be undone by complacency and inadequate intelligence work. We must always be prepared, at home and abroad, for the unthinkable.

But today is also a day when we must ensure we say “thank you” to all those who served our country, during times of war and times of peace. Our nation continues to lose World War II veterans, and it is never too late to let them and others know they are appreciated.

That is where things like the recent Honor Flights are so important.

Those 2,403 Americans paid a high price and their sacrifice should never be forgotten. It may have been 75 years ago, but for many, it seems like yesterday.

Author George Santayana wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

That is a powerful lesson we must keep in mind today and always as we honor those killed at Pearl Harbor and all the Americans who defend our freedoms.