Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2010

A surprise attack by Japan on the Hawaiian Islands (which were not yet the 50th state) awoke the “sleeping giant” 69 years ago today, bringing the United States into World War II.  Millions had already perished in a war that had consumed the world, though the US had largely stood by.  They would do so no longer, and the world would be better for it.

The United States did not engage in war in the 1940s merely to avenge an attack or remove a threat.  It sought a decisive and just end to conflict in uncompromising terms — it defended an “absolute right” in the face of a continuing wrong.

Those who recall the date that “lives in infamy” are becoming fewer in number.

As an aside, it is interesting to note the attack on Pearl Harbor lasted approximately 2 hours, and resulted in 15 Medals of Honor — 5 to living recipients — among other citations.  By contrast, the 9-year conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in 4, one to a living recipient.