Remember Pearl Harbor? WWII vets worry that it is just a history lesson
These days, few cast their minds back to Pearl Harbor, and some people under 30 are hard pressed to recite what happened on that "Day of Infamy" exactly 64 years ago.
"I have no idea whatsoever," said Kristina Krakehl, 23, of Boca Raton.
It's not really that significant," Brinsley Elliott, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, said after being told why Dec. 7, 1941, is notable in U.S. history.
Although President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy," it's been three generations and six decades since the Japanese air attack on the Navy base in Hawaii thrust the United States into World War II. The nation's collective consciousness has moved on, embracing more urgent events like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Pearl Harbor is relegated to a "museum quality" memory, one scholar says, rather than one more meaningful.
"I talk to people and they say, `Oh, you were at Pearl Harbor? Where's that?'" said Bill Merz, 83, of Hollywood, an Army vet who survived the battle. "They have to be reminded. It's a shame."
comments powered by Disqus
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Richmond split over Confederate history
- The World's Jewish Population Is Nearing Pre-Holocaust Levels
- Bernie Sanders’s Revolutionary Roots Were Nurtured in ’60s Vermont
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing