That famous proclamation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt still stands true today. But as 76th anniversary events take place this week in Pearl Harbor, there is a noticeable shift from the large-scale commemoration activities that occurred a year ago for the 75th remembrance services.
This year, fewer media outlets will be in attendance. Fewer guests will be in Hawaii to honor those who defended democracy amid the surprise attack by the Japanese on that Sunday morning so long ago. And, sadly, there will be even fewer Pearl Harbor survivors than in the past.
The number of survivors will continue to dwindle every year.
But we cannot – we must not – let their heroism fade from the memories of Americans. It is our duty as patriotic citizens to educate future generations on what the Greatest Generation did, starting with repelling the attack on Pearl Harbor. After all, it’s embedded in the DNA of our organization, “To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars.”
I am honored to be a part of the commemoration ceremonies this year at Pearl Harbor. For those who are unable to attend, the ceremonies will be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and the website of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument’s website. A schedule, details and more information can be found here:https://www.nps.gov/valr/learn/news/national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day-76th-anniversary-commemoration-ceremony.htm
Join me in honoring our commitment to “never forget” by honoring those heroes on Dec. 7. And be sure to engage your communities, your local schools and others in remembering and honoring the date that will indeed live in infamy.
Denise H. Rohan