Sun Editorial: Remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941

We must not forget the attack that brought the U.S. into WWII.

By Alan Bauer
The Sun

Where were you 77 years ago Friday? As the voices of the “Greatest Generation” grow fewer by the day, it’s vital those of us who followed keep alive the memory of what happened on Dec. 7, 1941.

For a lot of us, the question is: Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001? We remember that day. It was a day that changed our lives. We vowed to “never forget.”

Generations before us, however, were asked where they were when the attacks on Pearl Harbor took place. It was the day their lives changed forever. They vowed to “never forget.”

But as time marches on, the “date which will live in infamy” tends to get relegated to the pages of history books. Those who recall the day, many of whom went on to serve the country in various ways throughout World War II, are fewer in number. When we lose them, we lose those firsthand memories. We lose someone who vowed to “never forget” about Pearl Harbor.

Now it’s our job to maintain the memories of the attack, of the men and women who lost their lives that day and of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II.

Humans, being what we are, tend to view “our moment” as being the most important — the event that generations to come must, above all else, “never forget.” It’s a natural reaction, but it also can blind us to the events that happened before our time.

Indeed, we won’t forget the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. We will always remember the heroes of that day, and the ones who followed. And we want those memories to endure.

But, if we expect Americans in the decades ahead to “never forget” the events of 2001, it’s our job, today, to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor alive.

On Friday, let’s do that. Let’s talk about it with a young person, make a social media post, thank a veteran or do something else to ensure no one ever forgets Pearl Harbor.