Saturday, December 07, 2013

Remember Pearl Harbor

One of the best museum exhibits I have ever seen was held at the Reagan Library during the early to mid '90s.  Entitled "World War II: In Their Own Words," the exhibit took you from the last days of peace at Pearl Harbor through to the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and featured artifacts from every noteworthy event of the war.  In accordance with the theme, the exhibit also featured written documents, letters, diaries, and memoirs from every person of note on both sides, and from soldiers who recorded the events in journals as they happened. The Pearl Harbor section of the exhibit featured Franklin Roosevelt's pince-nez, and the typescript of his Day of Infamy speech with his penciled corrections.  One of the most poignant and gripping items in the whole exhibit was a Navy pharmacist's mate's white tunic, covered in blood stains from helping with the wounded after the attack.  It was quite a small tunic; the man wearing it had to have been very young.

Now, almost three quarters of a century after that fateful day, the United States is again in peril, only this time, from within.  Very few Pearl Harbor veterans have lived to see the 72nd anniversary of the date that would live in infamy.  I wonder how many of them are happy about the path taken by the country they suffered for so long ago.

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