Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day holds special meaning in my heart. To me, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is a time for our nation to reflect on the impact of war and the responsibilities of our citizens to stand by our soldiers. For many, the life-altering effects of war are only experienced secondhand– information shared by the media, snippets of first-hand accounts, social media, and memories from friends and loved ones.
The majority of our population is thousands of miles from active war zones. I often wonder how many of those people pause to consider the cost of such distance.
Our country’s ability to bring the fight to the enemy is a gift afforded to our citizens by the thousands of Americans who are currently deployed. It’s their sacrifices that allow us to sleep safely in our homes at night.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day stands as a grim reminder of how threatening and disruptive a home front attack can be. A reminder of exactly what war can look like if we fail to produce and support an all-volunteer force that stands ready and vigilant. An “all-volunteer force” that includes not only our military members, but also the countless Americans who support the forces. These are the military spouses, defense researchers, medical professionals, military children, parents of military members, veteran support nonprofits, and the countless groups of Americans who have always stood behind our military members and offered their support. The unwavering support and love that our nation has shown for our military members reinforce the core values and beliefs that keep our men and women moving forward.
The memories and sacrifices of those who gave everything for our nation are not lost with time. The pain does not dull and the fact that our nation was attacked on our land will not go away. I am reminded of the sacrifices made by “the greatest generation” when I speak to my dear friend Mr. Stan Stanley. Mr. Stanley is a 99-year-old veteran of WWII and was drafted into the military following the attack on Pearl Harbor (watch Stan’s story here). He recalls the intense feeling of pride and duty to our country when he tells his story. It’s because of great men and women like him that we are all able to live in a country that allows us the freedoms that we hold so dear.
Please take the time to show gratitude and support for someone that has made the sacrifices required to keep all of us safe.