Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Infamy

On this day in 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, dragging the United States kicking and screaming into World War II. Of course, this led to the shameful side effect that Americans began sending Japanese-Americans to internment camps, which, to my mind, is second only to the "peculiar institution" of slavery as one of the more overtly racist events in American history. (I should also point out that we Americans "won" this war, perhaps not in small part, by dropping an atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not a pretty chapter in the history of world warfare.)

Growing up in Hawai'i, I knew all about December 7. Even though most of my family hadn't made it to Hawai'i by 1941, there were enough people on the island who were suffered through that day -- I can only imagine it to be about as horrific as September 11 -- to burn that date into my head as one Americans can never forget.

I'd share a stupid anecdote at this point about someone I knew here in DC and a conversation we had on this date several years ago, but it doesn't seem appropriate. (He was an insensitive ass trying to be funny, and yet inappropriately.) Let's keep the focus of this post on the day.

I can't get the words together for a proper tribute to the men and women who fought valiantly at Pearl Harbor that day, or for the troops who subsequently were deployed to WWII as a result.

Remember the Arizona.

Update: WaPo article on Pearl Harbor observance.

3 comments:

katie said...

Thank you for this post. It seems that all two often these dates go by without notice.

Dop said...

nice job

Dale said...

very true, having had half of my family interned in those camps/forced into military service I can definitely understand the importance of this day.