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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Pearl Harbor

Today’s post, this 67th anniversary, is filled with thoughtful remembrance and an acknowledgement that the United States of America has changed remarkably, and not necessarily for the better, since December 7th, 1941. That was the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, brought us into World War II, and destroyed our Pacific naval fleet. It was the day that President Franklin Roosevelt called “A day that will live in infamy.” Congress declared war on Japan , Germany , and Italy –– the Axis powers. I was 13 years old.  Our country was united. After 12 years of  economic doldrums, we forged a gigantic manufacturing effort that produced tanks, planes, and armaments that supplied our army and navy with the tools to win a world wide war. Our technology produced atomic weapons. Conscription into the armed forces was taken for granted by the vast majority of young men.  There were no marches in the street, no protests against the war, no efforts to sabotage our fight against fascism.
How different things are today.  A volunteer army backed up by our National Guard.  Our country divided socially, politically, and ideologically. Although I was too young to enter the armed forces during World War II, I served during the Korean conflict and was proud to do so. Today we have a small cadre of dedicated men and women who are willing and anxious to serve. We owe them our deepest gratitude, and if we step back and view our history through a long lens, we can only wonder if we could have won World War II with today’s altered attitudes. Many of our brave men and women died when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  Many of our brave men and women died on September 11th, 2001. Would that we had mustered the same anger and determination that we had that day in 1941.

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