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Advocate editorial board opinion: 'May we never forget' Pearl Harbor attack

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 6, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.


From the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, we get the mantra "May we never forget."

Sadly, in time, we may forget. After all the veterans from World War II die, the frequency of hearing about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor may greatly decline and the mantra, like a prayer, will fade, too.

Spanish philosopher, George Santayana, once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." We hope and pray we don't forget what President Franklin Roosevelt called a "date which will live in infamy."

Pearl Harbor was a tragic blow to the U.S. Navy - 18 ships were sunk or severely damaged, including eight battleships, 161 planes were destroyed and a total of 2,896 U.S. military personnel (including 57 civilians) died. Had the Japanese continued its attack on the U.S. mainland, it's very possible we could have lost the war.

Plainly, the United States had grown comfortable and certain no army or navy would ever attack. So we were caught completely unaware, by surprise and the result was a crippling of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Luckily, most of our aircraft carriers were not in port during the approximately two hours the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

"May we never forget" is a prayer. It is a prayer for our nation never to be caught unawares again. It is a bombing we must remember, even after all the World War II veterans die.

We hope you will take a moment of silence today and remember all of our brave veterans who have stood in the face of war and emerged victorious for our freedom.

Yes, "may we never forget."

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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