Today is the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which stands as the third-bloodiest single day in American history (the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg is the first, and 11 September 2001 is second).
Sixty-five years ago today, on a Sunday morning, the Imperial Japanese Navy conducted a surprise air attack on the United States. Find the National Geographic story here: http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/pearlharbor/.
Of all the American warships that were damaged and sunk at Pearl Harbor, all except three or four eventually sailed again, at some point during the war. And, the USS West Virginia was in Tokyo Harbor when the Japanese surrendered in 1945. I wonder if anyone had to convene a "Japan Study Group" to make recommendations to the president as to whether or not the Navy should rebuild its ships. I wonder if anyone would have advised the president to pull US forces out of the Pacific. And I wonder if there's a lesson in any of this.
Anyway, I do believe we need to remain mindful of the victims of the war that this unprovoked attack launched. This includes litrally millions of American, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese and Pacific Islanders, and others, both military and civilian.
I also think we could be using this day to commemorate the peace between the US and Japan. It's amazing to me that such staunch enemies as these two nations were some sixty years ago, could be enjoying the kind of relationship that we now enjoy.