Seventy one years ago on a lovely December morning, Japanese bombers launched from aircraft carriers made a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. That attack has often been credited with awakening the American public to the state of chaos in the world and ushering us into World War II.
That historical point will be debated for another 71 years most likely, but the impact of the attack has never been in question. America suddenly realized we couldn't sit by while the world waged war, isolationism was no longer an option.
9/11 is often likened to Pearl Harbor and with some good reasons. On that day, America realized we were not immune from terrorists and isolationism was not an option. The big difference was the enemy. In WWII the Axis powers were sovereign countries, bent on taking territory and expanding their power. On 9/11 a handful of very dedicated fanatics got the attention of the world with a couple of box cutters and a well executed plan.
Both these tragedies shook our country from it's complacency. In the case of Pearl Harbor it threw us into one of the worst wars in human history, and in the case of 9/11 it threw us into the longest war in US history.
It is a good day to remember the men and women who lost their lives that day in December 1941 and the generation whose valor and sacrifice defeated a tyranny the world has not seen since.
Few who were at Pearl Harbor are still alive, but their story will never be forgotten.
Take a moment to remember.