Every generation has events that shape the psyche and memory of their time. Consider the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? 27 percent of our current citizenry does not because they were born after or were too young to remember the events of that day. It is not that they are not familiar with the events of that day and all the consequences of it, but the day does not have the same resonance for them as it does for we watched in shock as the towers were struck and then fell.

Every generation has it significant event and wonders how the subsequent generations are not as impacted as they.  Time and tide waits for no one. Think of all the events that never fade from history nor its chronicles, but whose memory of emotion slowly passes with the turning of time.

Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?  75 percent of our people were not yet born or were too young to remember. I remember vividly were I was, who burst into the room to announce the President had been shot, and even the image of her face – all as clear as if it were yesterday. How many people alive today remember the Challenger Disaster? About ~45%. The first moon walk? About 33%. The sinking of the Titanic? Far less than 1 percent. This will soon pass from living memory.

Here on December 7th we can ask the same question about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Who remembers? It is our family and friends who who are 80+ years old remembers. It is about 7% of the nation.

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941 the mettle and determination of a generation were challenged when the Imperial Japanese Navy unleashed a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor. In the face of these attacks the Sailors of the U.S. Navy and the nation responded with honor, courage and undying commitment. Heroic actions were embodied by common men and women who, when suddenly faced with the challenge of battle, responded with the resolve and character that defined a nation and a generation.

Their resolve and character changed the course of history and your life. While most of us can not remember, all of us can pause and give a prayer of Thanksgiving to the men and women who lost their lives on December 1st and for those who rose from the ashes of one battle to win a war.

Fair winds and following seas to us all.

2 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. Thank you for your two posts regarding remembering. December 7th was a day that will always be remembered. I thought of it this morning driving into town. I have always been fascinated by history, as it was my favorite subject in school. I loved learning about people’s lives and their countries. All the men and women who served our country during WWII, how could they have known then that they would possibly lose their lives in liberating Europe and elsewhere. And, the horrors of the Holocaust. I was in third grade when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember the horrifying images of people jumping from the Twin Towers thinking that fleeing would be better than dying in the flames! Who could have ever thought that these magnificent buildings of mortar and steel would collapse in the matter of minutes entombing so many! Our servicemen and women should be very proud of their service and what they have done in saving so many people’s lives. Thank you, Father George!

  2. Loved both of your “remembering” columns. Being your age I share the same memories. I remember my mom telling me of spending days huddled around the radio and hearing FDR’s speech. Thanks also for the story of Hugo Marshall, which I did not know. A good day to pray for the fallen of every generation.
    Thanks for the reminder, Father.

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