December 7, 1941: Remembering Pearl Harbor

By Matt Wandrie, LCS Superintendent

December 7, 1941, is known to history as the “day that will live in infamy.” This was the day, 79 years ago, that forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The attack claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Americans and injured more than 1,000 others. It ultimately led to our country’s involvement in World War II and a prolonged period of great sacrifice for all Americans.

And as the saying goes, “all gave some, some gave all.”

Days like Pearl Harbor Day are an annual reminder of the values of patriotism, especially important in a time when patriotism is out of style. The World War II era in America embodies the heroic nature of American patriotism. Heroes like my grandfather, a Navy Corpsman during World War II whose ship was sunk twice. He, like so many Americans, met these challenges head on and made incredible sacrifices for the greater good of the country and, indeed, the world.

As educators, it is incumbent upon us to make every effort to share these values with our youngest learners. I truly believe that there is more that unites us as Americans than divides us, and our history speaks this truth clearly. When it mattered most, the vast majority Americans set aside their differences to make the necessary sacrifices for the good of the nation.

The perseverance and sacrifice displayed by everyday Americans, not just our military men and women, is inspiring. To teach it, we must know it ourselves. I encourage everyone to take some time to honor the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation by sharing their stories with our children and grandchildren.

(Above photo from: George Strock The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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