On this Pearl Harbor day, I’ve paused to reflect on how far this nation has descended. Upon listening to FDR’s declaration of war, I noticed an eloquence of speech that would be unintelligible by many people of today. I noticed that he, even as the father of liberalism, spoke as an unapologetic American. Yes, his reticence in taking action against the documented Holocaust being waged by the Nazis was unforgivable. Even though he was excruciatingly late in stepping up to the plate, at least he did so.
I also reflect on the evaporation of our national character. My parents, both who were WWII veterans, never failed to remember Dec 7; we went to mass every time that date rolled around, whether it was on a Sunday or not. Now, just nine years after 9/11, it’s vanishing from our national memory. My parents never could find it in themselves to completely forgive either the Germans or the Japanese for the hell they unleashed upon the world, or the substantial parts of their youth that was lost as a result. They willingly sacrificed for their country, but they always remembered who it was that made that sacrifice necessary.
Thank God for those men and women who willingly sacrifice today, but then, there was an entire country behind them. That’s not so much the case today. Even after 3,000 civilians were lost on 9/11 and thousands more troops lost on the field of combat, many at home dare not speak the enemy’s name.
Our national soul seems to be dying off as rapidly as the WWII generation who saved that soul and passed it on to their children. Many believe that enemies of civilization are relics of a bygone era, and they couldn’t be more wrong.
69 years ago, we picked ourselves off the mat and, in just four years, defeated Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, decisively, and against all odds. Today, we, as a nation, are still meandering, afraid to name our enemy who becomes more powerful as we become weaker.
Without the will to fight and defend what is ours, the legacy and the sacrifice of the WWII generation is lost forever. To lose it now would be the ultimate insult to those brave men and women of yesterday, and today.