A Date Which Is Fading Into Obscurity?
The Infamy Speech was a speech delivered by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a Joint Session of the US Congress on December 8, 1941, one day after the Empire of Japan’s attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the Japanese declaration of war on the United States and the British Empire. The name derives from the first line of the speech: Roosevelt describing the previous day as “a date which will live in infamy”.
From the chair – Today is December 7th, 2017 – Pearl Harbor Day. It’s the day we remember as the horrific beginning of America’s engagement in W.W. II. 2335 military personnel were killed on that day – we lost 400,000 to all causes before it was all over. The world suffered 60 million dead.
It’s a day worth remembering – but for those of later generations like ours, it takes some work.
That’s not anything new. Each generation’s pivotal events tend to get lost as their time is complete. So many of the men and women who served and contributed to W.W. II are gone now. Their memories and experiences and knowledge are also at risk.
We lose something when we lose people like those of the “Greatest Generation.” Forged in hardship, they had special qualities – like a sense of accountability, work ethic and morale code – that is not always easily found in those not having faced life’s more profound tests.
What will be will be. The fanfare traditionally associated with this sacred day is fading and will continue to do so. But you and I can chose to remember as individuals and keep the memory alive for a bit longer.
There is merit in doing so. There were many lessons in Pearl Harbor – and truly, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayna)
We need not do anything special today – a little prayer – a little reflection – a little remembering. It’s enough – enough for another day of infamy…