Thursday, December 08, 2005

A day that will live in infamy

I know that today is the day that John Lennon was killed about 25 years ago, but that's not what this is about. The day I'm talking about is yesterday which was the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor way back in 1941.

I didn't really see or hear too much about Pearl Harbor yesterday. I wasn't really looking for it I must say, but I've noticed a lot about Lennon's death today. I'm not going to say that they are giving Lennon more air time than they did an entire generation of heroes, but I would have to say that news organizations are giving it an awful lot of time.

I don't guess I have too much of a problem with it because it was in the 1980's and Howard Cosell announced it on Monday Night Football back when people partied hard on Monday night for the game.

However, I think it was Tom Brokaw that labeled the WWII generation as "the greatest generation" and he's right. And that isn't just Americans. That war was truly faught on every continent except Antarctica. Everyone has a relative or knows someone who was in WWII. Yesterday I attended an event and a local Pearl Harbor survivor was also in attendance. In fact he's on the front page of the regional daily newspaper today at another event from yesterday.

Go check out some movies and see what some of these folks did for their countries. Heck, Hollywood was making movies about the war during the war. Granted, most of those movies don't depict the actual violence as realistically as Steven Spielberg does in the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, but special effects afford that these days.

And the U.S. and its citizens mobilized its military and sacrificed everything even when the Great Depression was still in full swing. Rival companies like Ford and Willys/Jeep both produced Jeeps. And they were created with small parts so that factories that normally built things like refrigerators could make hoods and fenders for the military.

Lennon being killed was a major event, but it isn't in the same league as Pearl Harbor and even though Pearl Harbor was around 40 years earlier, time shouldn't begin to diminish that day's significance. Pearl Harbor being attacked officially began WWII. Which spawned Midway, The Battle of the Bulge, D-Day and the atomic bombing of Japan.

It truly amazes me sometimes when I go cover a story or something out in one of the three Japanese factories we have right out in my backyard. To think of what they did to the U.S. and what it cost that country. They attacked a military installation and we dropped two atomic bombs on top of local metro areas killing 120,000 people instantly.

Look at it like this. In this day of instant news on the TV, after seeing that war go down we'd all be in therapy and Merlin would be a billionaire.


So remember today for John Lennon, but also keep in mind the half dozen or more other days of remembrance that began on Dec. 7, 1941.

No comments: