Mostly just kicked around the house and ran errands on Pearl Harbor Day. Seems like I should have been doing something more significant on the "...date that will live in infamy."...but I didn't. Another day between trips doing what my short time at home allows; half recovering from the last one and half getting ready for the next one. The usual dash around the house with the laundry, stray dishes and vacuum (yes, real men do housework and don't mind it). Between runs to the car repair shop with a sick van, the grocery store and kid drop-off and pick-up, the day went fast. They all do when you have to think about being in bed by 6 because the phone'll likely ring by 11. Keeps me busy if nothing else and today was no different but it kind of felt like I should be doing something to remember that Sunday in 1941 besides just thinking about it.
Of course the actual Pearl Harbor attack was almost 18 years before I was born so I don't have any living memory of it or the war it led us into. Hence it's something of a history lesson to me but also something more than just a section on my bookshelf. Out of all the studying, reading and listening I've done about World War II over the years, December 7th is one of those dates that sticks in my mind more than most. Maybe because the events that day are always trotted out whenever some politician younger than me has a point to make and needs a soundbite...or maybe its something else. I've been a reader of WWII history as long as I can remember and still for some reason gravitate toward the Pacific Theater when I'm cruising the shelf for a book. Pearl was the start of the Pacific war and something about the idea of a mangled Navy scraping itself together and heading west across all those miles of ocean looking for a fight is somehow inspiring. I don't like to fall into the trap of seeing it as all heroics and sacrifice that we can't or won't do now because it was a different time and a different set of circumstances but it was without a doubt...a lot of heroics and sacrifice. Could we do it again if we had to? I'd like to think so.
In the meantime, the memory of Pearl Harbor lives in at least one from a generation that never knew it as anything but memories and printed pages. Maybe it's enough to keep the thought in my mind as another December day flies by and I do all the things I do in the world I know. To think a little about who was there and what it meant; then and now. Isn't that the highest honor anyone who lived and died that day and all the long days after can recieve? To be remembered?
Maybe it's enough to simply "Remember Pearl Harbor" after all.