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Pearl Harbor Day…

Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor Hawaii, December 7th, 1941

As a Navy Veteran and somewhat of a World War II buff, I take a few minutes every December 7th to remember what happened in 1941 and to reflect on what those servicemen who died that day, and those who served during the rest of WWII, gave to us.  They have been called ‘the Greatest Generation’, and I would agree.  Tens of millions of people served, both at home and abroad, in the military, the USO, arms plants, and countless other activities, and were glad to do so.  As I have read and seen in interviews, it was expected of this generation that you would serve, and unless you were unable to there was dishonor and disrespect in not doing so.  There doesn’t seem to be that feeling of want or obligation to serve our country today, whether it be in the military or in some other capacity, for all of the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy.

Today, I think a lot of Americans look at the military as a necessary evil, the campaigns we are involved in as useless, and the men and women who serve as just everyday people with an unsavory ‘job’.  But what I see is a proud and necessary force that protects and defends our freedom and interests around the world, and people who take years out of their lives to make our lives easier and safer.  I’m not saying I agree with every conflict we get involved with.  What I am saying is that the people in the military generally have no say in the matter and do what their country asks of them, no matter how difficult it is or where in the world it takes them, even if it means their lives are in danger.

I think that Americans want peace and view the world through rose colored glasses.  Having been around the world, I know that not everyone has the high opinion of the United States that we who live here do.  There are lots of people, and countries, that would love to see the U.S. in shambles.

Before World War I, Americans had no desire to get involved in ‘Europe’s’ problems, they didn’t directly involve us.  Let them figure it out themselves, we said.  But eventually our sense of goodness and obligation to the world took hold and we provided the manpower and equipment to tip the scales to victory and bring peace.  As Europe suffered through the first two years of WWII and Asia was being overrun, we again said that it didn’t involve us, let them figure it out, we don’t belong.  But after being attacked we again provided the manpower and equipment to tip the scales and after 4 years, the world was at peace again.  Prior to September 11th, we had the same military isolationist attitude, and I’m afraid we have it again now.  And before all of these events, we had allowed our military to become smaller and weaker due to our desire to not be involved and our optimistic view of the world.

As good and just nation, and the most powerful both militarily and economically, I believe we have an obligation to the world to help defend and protect the freedom of those who are unable to do it for themselves.  I would like to think that this will be our place in history, not as a conquesting nation like the Roman Empire, British Empire, and Germany did at the height of their power, but as a nation that used it’s power for the betterment of the world.

So on this day, please thank the veterans who have served to defend our amazing way of life, reflect on what your what your freedom means to you and the opportunity it brings, and what the military of the United States means to the freedom and security of the world.

Thanks for reading…

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  1. Pete DeJesus
    December 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Amen brother. Serving in the Navy and OUR country and meeting people lke yourself was something I’d do over and over again.

    • January 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks DJ! It was great serving with you and is something I would do again as well if my country asked. I wish more people had this sense of pride, responsibility, and ownership in the success and prosperity in our country.

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