Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor: 70 Years On

We're reaching the point where soon there will be no living veterans of the attack, a melancholy development reflected in this Atlantic story:
The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association will commemorate their last Pearl Harbor anniversary today, the group sadly lacks the number of able-bodied members to keep on going. Citing the tolls of age and their dwindling numbers, the group voted unanimously to disband at the end of this month.
For those under 30 this probably doesn't resonate, but I am old enough to remember when there were plenty of people around who fought in World War II.  I also remember seeing a program in 1979 marking the 35th anniversary of D-Day, which to someone in junior high like I was seemed like impossibly ancient history. Now that memory itself is 32 years old.  Time marches on.

The Pacific War is not a distant event for me though.  I've been to Pearl Harbor, Guam and Saipan but more importantly my father named me after my uncle who was lost in a TBF Avenger in 1944 near the Philippines.  So in a way I carry a direct personal legacy of what happened seventy years ago today.

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