The line of modern history is pegged with catastrophes that have shaped and changed every culture of people on the planet. December 7th marked the 73rd anniversary since the Japanese attack. Were you in the military in 1941? Do you have friends or family who were? Even if you were a child, just old enough to have an awareness of the attacks, you hold a unique story in your soul. A story that all the History Channel and Military Channel documentaries combined cannot tell.
The generations since have learned facts about Pearl Harbor, yes. But your perspective and experience about December 7, 1941 and the war that followed are priceless. Write a letter today to your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Whatever your personal experience as it related to Pearl Harbor and WWII were, share it on paper. Make copies and give them for Christmas.
You can open your letter by noting that before the holiday season arrives, December 7 passes through. Ask if they know what December 7 means to you, or to them. You can share a few Pearl Harbor facts as background. Most importantly, tell them what those “facts” felt like to live – whether you were serving in the military or growing up at home.
- Describe your emotions and those you remember of your family and friends. Describe your fears for how this terrible time could affect your life and your future.
- Describe how news was distributed and the reality of “waiting” for news – today’s generation has no idea what it’s like to wait for information.
- Describe what patriotism felt like then and invite them to consider our country’s mindset now.
- Encourage them to consider how they feel about war and why – because we all hate war, and yet it sometimes seems inevitable and necessary.
- Close your story with a personal message about living consciously with gratitude for safety on home soil.
Why? Because you represent that last opportunity for the day of infamy to be truly remembered in a way that can impact tomorrow.