cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
December 7, 1941 was a horrific day for the United States and especially for those who were stationed in and around Honolulu when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 people lost their lives. Our naval installation and the vessels present were largely decimated.
Our nation responded to that attack and won the many battles leading toward Japan paid for with more lives and debilitating injuries. Our country emerged victorious over Japan even as we fought a war on two widely separated fronts. Wisconsin’s own 32nd Division, the Red Arrow division, fought its way island-to-island continuously for a full year without relief.
I remember my mother taking me along to the grocery store where she used her ration coupons for various items that were strictly controlled in order to provide for the fighting men and women who were protecting the country and each of us. Tires were repaired because there simply were insufficient quantities available domestically due to the two wars being fought. My father was a cheese maker and he could buy tires for his milk trucks since he was producing cheese, much of which was purchased by the government at the time. Everything was used and re-used until it wasn’t capable of further use. Ours was not a throw-away society then.
Reflecting on this time, one has to wonder how we would respond if a similar situation were to confront us today. Have we the will to wage war on multiple fronts simultaneously while doing without domestically in order to supply the troops?
Have we the military capability to do this or have we so decimated our force structure as to make that impossible?
Given the development of ever more frightening and powerful weaponry, would such a situation immediately result in the use of those weapons?
As mankind expands its capabilities, the world becomes a more frightening place.
At least, though, we should remember those who stood tall following Pearl Harbor and the Hitler-led European conflict.
72 years ago today, a world-wide conflagration was triggered and we responded. I pray that we will never again be required to make such a decision for I fear our resolve might have weakened from that day to today.