We should never forget Pearl Harbor, ever. Nor should we forget 9/11. Every time those two days roll around, our schools should indeed focus on the teachable moments these days bring to our country in regards to vigilance and standing ready.
For me, these two articles are a link to speeches and faces of the survivors that I cherish. Originally, it was an honor to meet these WWII Vets who survived Pearl Harbor when I was a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet. I took their advice to heart in many ways, I didn't join the service purely for the college money, I didn't do it just for the trade; I did it because I largely because I wanted to be on watch for a time like my father (Cold War) and grandfather (WWII). For me, on 9/11/01, I was on duty in the right place at the right time (even if I didn't feel that way because I didn't get shipped out right away...). I looked back at these men, and what they said that day in their speeches, and the fragments sealed themselves in my mind forever. They contrast very sharply with the views of one of my very liberal English teachers who laughed at the notion that we needed a strong military to be ready for the day when terrorists would attack our nation. The very idea mad her laugh.
I believe it was Wendell Phillips who stated that "Eternal Vigilance is the price of Liberty" and Thomas Paine who stated "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." How true they are.
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