Remembering The Attack On Pearl Harbor

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C-Deerpark)

Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941—a pivotal historical moment that reshaped the world. Beyond being a mere date, it serves as a poignant reminder of the past and the invaluable lessons it imparts. The devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor propelled the U.S. into World War II, forever altering global history. While over 80 years have passed since that fateful day, the impact and loss endured still resonate, prompting our continued acknowledgment.

The toll on December 7th, 1941, was staggering, with 2,400 lives lost. Pearl Harbor, once a bustling naval base with dedicated sailors, pilots, and soldiers, was caught off guard by a surprise strike from an unexpected adversary in the Pacific. The effectiveness of this sneak attack compelled America to respond on the world stage.

Many who directly witnessed the attacks are no longer alive. Lou Conter, the last known survivor of the U.S.S. Arizona, is now 101 years old. Of the 16.1 million Americans who served in World War II, just over 100,000 are still alive today. The responsibility to honor the memory of those who courageously defended freedom now falls upon us. As recipients of their service and sacrifices, we carry the duty of preserving and sharing their stories and names.

Just as the nation united in the aftermath of the devastation, it’s our responsibility to stand tall and impart the significance of this defining moment to future generations. This task goes beyond expressing support for the military or the country—it involves preserving the lives of those who endured and those who perished.

In this context, I want to emphasize that my father, a U.S. Navy veteran, strongly dedicated himself to defending freedom. His service, alongside many others, underscores the vital importance of remaining vigilant and supporting those who tirelessly work to protect our freedom every day.

When reflecting on historical events like Pearl Harbor, modern tragedies such as the attacks on September 11, 2001, and, more recently, the Hamas attack on innocent Israelis, it serves as a poignant reminder that our collective vigilance is crucial in preserving the cherished liberties we hold dear. If there's one thing you can do today to honor the sacrifice of those who died at Pearl Harbor, talk with your children or grandchildren and help them understand that evil exists in our world and the value of freedom comes at a significant cost. Never Forget!