Most of the time, war requires preparation. People know it’s coming; oftentimes, it’s a gradual progression to conflict. Not so with 7 December, 1941. For many years after, important people swore it would be the last time the United States would be caught unawares on such a huge scale. That held true until September 2001.
I remember Dad talking about Pearl Harbor; his contention was that FDR didn’t do enough. Dad always said that Roosevelt knew about the possibility of an attack, but instead of sending a personal envoy to Hawaii to warn them, he was caught up in transmitting telegrams to the Emperor of Japan. I don’t know if that’s true (I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, usually), and I haven’t the time to look it up right now, but it seems that even the worst of presidents — and there have been quite a few, from both parties, let’s admit it — would act in the country’s best interest before trying to talk someone out of declaring war.
But that’s just me.
I don’t make light of Pearl Harbor, or trivialize it in any way. I can’t imagine the horror of that morning. Final death toll after the 90-minute attack: 64 Japanese, and 2,386 Americans. War is not funny.
This week has two important historical tragedies; one more tomorrow. But for now, I hit the shower and the snowy road. Christmastime is here, happiness and cheer…
Shyeah right. Bah!