Lessons From Pearl Harbor
I was stationed in Pearl Harbor, not during the 1941 attack, but decades later, and was privileged have served there as a young petty officer. The attack by naval air forces of the empire of Japan caused Franklin Roosevelt to say the next day in his address to Congress, wherein he asked for a declaration of war, that we must “win through to absolute victory”.
Two essential lessons from the deadly events of that quiet Sunday and during the resulting years of war:
Vigilance is never wasted. Nations, states, communities, businesses and individuals, should always exercise the necessary situational awareness and sustain what resources may be needed to bear with little or no warning. This requires an understanding of threats (man-made, economic, natural), throrough assessment of vulnerabilities and mitigation thereof within the means available. If your means are insufficient, change that quickly.
Consider the lines of the USS ARIZONA memorial. It is low in the center and sweeps gracefully upward on both ends. It symbolizes initial defeat and ultimate victory. As Navy SEALS knowingly say, “The only easy day was yesterday”. We can – we must – prevail over those threats before us. Whatever those may, or will, be, the climb is long and painful.
May we remember the fallen of Pearl Harbor and those who saw it through to “absolute victory”.
What does your tomorrow look like?