Why have so many chosen to forget? The Mobile Register reports that observances of the Pearl Harbor attack are down, in part because of Hurricane Katrina:
While today marks the 64th anniversary of the Japanese attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which plunged the nation into World War II, local officials report a scarcity of area observances of the event.
No observance of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack will take place at Battleship Memorial Park on the Causeway this year because the park has remained closed since Aug. 29 when Hurricane Katrina inflicted some $4 million in damage on it.
“We’re planning a large event next year for the 65th anniversary,” Bill Tunnel, executive director of the park, said Tuesday. He said Pearl Harbor survivors throughout the state will be invited next year to a ceremony to take place on the park’s centerpiece, the USS Alabama. He said he hopes the park can be partially reopened “within the next 30 days.”
“I don’t know of anything planned at all” in the area, said Buford Barber, 84, a Pearl Harbor survivor who lives in Fairhope.
He said he is aware of only a few survivors living in the area. “We’re not youngsters anymore,” said Barber, who was a 20-year-old sailor on board the USS Helena at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck.
Another Pearl Harbor survivor, Wes Strauley, 86, also of Fairhope, lamented Tuesday, “I don’t see any observances any place. It’s going to be just a gone day. … But that’s life. Maybe next year we’ll kick up something big.”
The Delaware News Journal also notes that veterans are worried about fading collective memory:
The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese made Dec. 7, 1941, as FDR said in that famous radio broadcast, “a date which will live in infamy.”
Fred Hess used to think that was so, but these days he’s worried that the president was wrong. He’s afraid that the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor soon will go unremarked and unremembered.
“It’s mind-boggling to me that so many kids don’t even know about Pearl Harbor and what it was and what it meant,” said Hess, 78, as he sat in Jack Hanna’s Newport barbershop working out the last details for today’s annual memorial service.
It’s one of the few Pearl Harbor celebrations in Delaware today. In contrast, Americans gather by the thousands on Sept. 11, a tragedy that is fresher in the minds of most. Comparisons with 9/11, though, bother some WWII veterans who point out that the terrorist attacks of 2001 did not thrust the United States into a two-front war for survival.
Pearl Harbor, they argue, was a more seminal moment in U.S. history.
“We have to keep this going. If we give it up, who’s going to carry it on? Who’s going to take the time to remember that this was a world event, not just one involving the United States?” Hess said. “No young people seem to want to carry this on, to replace us, so we keep doing it. Someone has to do it.”
Peter Schrag of the Sacramento Bee remembers.
Ken Masugi reflects.
The Houston Chronicle highlights a forgotten hero.
Here’s the White House National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day proclamation.
Did you know the USS Arizona Memorial is sinking? There’s an effort underway to replace it.
Donald Sensing pays tribute and has photos of his visit to the USS Arizona memorial.
The Niihau Island attack occurred a few hours after the Oahu raid.
W. Thomas Smith, Jr. collects remembrances from some famous WWII veterans.
See also After the Day of Infamy, an archive of man-on-the-street interviews conducted following the Pearl Harbor attack.
Jon Ham at the John Locke Foundation posts old newspaper front pages from Dec. 7, 1941.
Mike’s Noise links to audio files of Pearl Harbor day radio reports.
Sacred Cow Burgers spoofs: If Pearl Harbor happened today…
Check out A Different Christmas Poem posted at Blackfive.
December 7, 2012 02:38 PM by Doug Powers
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