“There is nothing new except what’s been forgotten. . . .” December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a Sunday attack on the Naval Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The following day, the US entered into World War II.

“No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

Located at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, the USS Missouri is the site of the official surrender of the Japanese which brought an end to World War II. Commissioned in 1940, this was the last battleship the United States produced. Here General Douglas MacArthur is signing the Surrender paper of the Japanese.

We must be the great arsenal of democracy. For us this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt in an effort to keep the United States out of war

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2023, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave service members that day and remember their sacrifices.  I ask us all to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unthinkable day.  I urge all Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on December 7, 2023, in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth. December 6, 2023

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The USS Arizona

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” – attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

Today’s issue of Time offers parallels or perhaps the better word, repetitions post Pearl. . “After 9/11, for example, many Muslim Americans faced increased government surveillance, heightened Islamophobia, and hate crimes on the assumption that they harbored anti-American views. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic Asian Americans faced threats and violence, anti-Asian hate crimes increased, and xenophobic conspiracy theories proliferated alleging that Chinese Americans and agents allowed—whether accidentally or intentionally—a “foreign” biological weapon to wreak havoc within U.S. borders and worldwide.

This history helps to explain why the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the brutal response from the Israeli military have triggered such bigotry in the U.S. History teaches us that deeply ingrained conspiracy theories and xenophobia frequently prompt grievous (over)reactions during time of crisis—like Japanese incarceration, which policymakers, jurists, and and citizens justified on national security grounds. Historically, such decisions imperil national security, rather than safeguard it because they tend to unleash violence against already marginalized groups—creating an “us” vs. “them” mentality both within and across U.S. borders.

Time Magazine and PearlHarborWarBirds and The WhiteHouse.Gov and The Columbus Dispatch

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