Remembering Pearl Harbor Day, 'a day which will live in infamy': Dec. 7, 1941

My fiance and I were watching "From Here to Eternity" recently - I had never seen it before, and didn't realize it followed characters in the months and days leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which happened 71 years ago today. I mentioned to him how, up until that fateful and terrible morning, it must have seemed like a dream assignment.

As I began writing this entry, I didn't realize that its been more than 70 years since the attack that ushered in U.S. involvement in World War II. No wonder when I had the opportunity to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial four years ago did the teens I was chaperoning look at me as if I were a crazy person because I was in tears the entire time. 70 years is a lifetime ago, ancient history to not just teens but to a lot of people. But for someone like me, and I suspect most genealogists, people who actively try to keep history alive and in the present, being in that spot was an incredibly emotional and intense experience. And while it might seem forever ago, it has impacted our lives - most of us have parents or grandparents who fought in World War II, who might have been injured or killed in that war. Our mothers or grandmothers might have been the first in our trees to work outside the home or be the sole breadwinners for their families while their husbands were off fighting. And because it impacted their lives, it impacts our lives. That's the way life works - the ripple effect.

Anyway, not a genealogy blog per se, but its important to acknowledge the role that events or time periods play in shaping our family trees, and this one was a doozy. Every generation has something - 9/11, Kennedy being shot, Pearl Harbor, and especially now that we're in a year where it was someone's GREAT grandfather who fought in World War II, a relative far enough back that they've never met him and might not even care to know about him, it's important for those of us who do care to make sure these people and these moments are not forgotten.

Happy weekend, everyone! :)

Photos from visit to USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii July 2008