On December 7, 1941--just sixty-two years ago--2,388 Americans died in
a sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. It was not unlike the attack on
September 11, 2001 when modern-day Terrorists launched their war
against America. Aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, 1177
people died when the great battleship was sunk. What have
we learned between Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center attacks?
Are we unprepared for the next "surprise attack," or, are we more
Vigilant than ever in our history?
7, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 816
Pearl Harbor: A Reminder To
Always Be A Parent Of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 7, 2003--Today is
the 62nd anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Today is the
62nd Anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
assault by the Japanese came at about the same time the Terrorists
smashed their first plane into the World Trade Center some sixty years
later, at 8:10 a.m. on a Sunday morning in 1941 when a 1,760-pound
armor piercing bomb dropped from 10,000 feet struck and exploded the
U.S.S. Arizona's ammunition magazine, ultimately killing 1177 aboard.
knocked a divided America out of Complacency
The Japanese attack
boasted the successful raid with the code names, "Tora, Tora, Tora,"
as pilots from a Japanese fleet of 33 ships--including six assault
carriers clustered some 230 miles from Pearl Harbor--smashed the 130
ships of the Pacific Fleet with bombs, torpedoes and machine gun fire.
The attack knocked a divided America over the war
in Europe and Asia off the Complacency dime. Those who
wanted to "stay out of it" suddenly were running down to enlist.
America was virtually "bombed" into entering the conflict called World
Six decades later, the ills of the Middle
East passed by America's Complacent Eye as well. Prior to
the attack of Nine Eleven where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed,
going to war in the Middle East to rid "evil and oppression" was not
on the top of America's "Let's Do" list.
outside Kuwait City in March, 1991
In the early 90's we
conducted a battle against Saddam Hussein only after he invaded
another country and then stopped short of troops exited Kuwait.
Now, we face a new challenge, unlike any we
have in our history as a Nation of Vigilance: Do we continue to
battle the Beast of Terror in Iraq or leave and let him fester and
fight for control of the land we banished him from?
It throws the United States back to the
pre-Pearl Harbor days. Growing numbers of Americans are arguing
that our efforts in Iraq to restabilize that nation and bring it under
democratic management is outside the scope of our duty as a nation.
Lacking global support from the United Nations, America stands
relatively alone as the "Sentinel of Global Vigilance." Its few
major national supporters, such as Great Britain, are being roasted to
take their feet off the Iraqi grill.
Constant Terrorism within the
war-ravished nation of Iraq suggests that Americans will be dying by
the dozens daily as Saddam Hussein's guerrillas attempt to smear the
headlines with constant bloodshed, forcing the American public to one
day shout: "That's it! We've had it! Out! Out!
Terrorism suggests Americans will by dying by the dozens daily
Unlike Pearl Harbor, the
number of American battle deaths is still minimal. Since the war
in Iraq began in March of this year, 305 combat deaths have been
reported, 192 of those deaths occurred after May 1 when the major
combat was considered over and the "peacekeeping" began.
American combat deaths in Iraq
are currently 12 percent of those incurred at Pearl Harbor.
But as the growing competition
for the Presidential election next year grows, more and more dissent
is being created as to the role and responsibility of America in Iraq
and the Middle East. Is it a Sentinel of Vigilance who
will fight to the last man and woman to defend the rights of freedom
of liberty of a people who have suffered the tyranny and oppression of
a dictator, or, is America duty-bound to tuck its tail and leave the
people to fend for themselves?
It's not an easy choice.
table is filled with Complacency
table is filled with platters of Complacency for all to feast upon.
Complacency is the abdication of parental rights and duties--it is the
stripping of one's concern for the Children's Children's Children and
leaving one only focused on the "Children," one's own children.
That means I put my arms around
my own kids and hug them, but ignore what the neighbors are doing to
their children, and the people in another state far away are doing to
Vigilance is not a political
issue. It is a parental one. At what point do we
stop being parents? Do we stop with our own children, or do we
extend the duty to the parenting of our neighbors?
If our child comes to us
and tells us that the neighbor is abusing his or her
children--physically, sexually, emotionally--do we say: "That's
none of our business..." or, do we stand up and fight for the
children's rights as though the children were our own?
I believe it is
delusional for anyone to think that the poverty of one child will not
one day come to visit the prosperity of another child.
Since children are taught
by parents the duty and role of being "concerned citizens" geared to
protect the welfare of the innocent, it seems incredulous that
arguments against fighting to the last man and woman in Iraq would
have an audience.
Iraq is a
nation of children
Iraq is unique in one aspect. Nearly 40 percent of its
population are under the age of 15 years. It is a nation of
More importantly are our
own children. What lesson do we teach them when we argue
against fighting to protect the rights of other children?
As the sneak attack on
Pearl Harbor smashed America's Complacency, and the attack of Nine
Eleven awakened America to the threat of Terrorism, the same awakening
should explode in people's minds when the issue of removing American
troops from Iraq comes to the foreground.
It means we retreat
from the battle between Vigilance and the Beast of Terror.
It means we give up our National Parental Duty not only to our own
children, but to the children of the world.
has been to fight for the rights of others.
Not all nations do this.
Many hide themselves behind their borders and avoid confrontations,
just as many neighbors are reticent to approach the abuser of children
in another home and help the victims within.
The attack on Pearl
Harbor may be only history to some, but it is far more than that to a
Parent of Vigilance. It is a reminder that if we let
Terrorism grow through neglect and Complacency it will sprout again
and again on our doorsteps.
Perhaps a generation from
now, if we do nothing, our children's children will be in a World
Trade Center, or another despot or fanatical Beast of Terror will
unleash some deadly virus or explode a dirty bomb, crippling our
I would not want to be one of
those people who said: "We should have finished what we
We can learn
to be Parents of Vigilance from Pearl Harbor
learn from Pearl Harbor, as we can learn from Nine Eleven.
We can finish what we started. We can always be Parents of
Vigilance, and not relax our grip on the Sword of Vigilance.
We can take the Pledge of Vigilance
daily, reminding ourselves that our children's future depends on the
future of the Children's Children's Children. If we are
able to see Iraq through the eyes of a child, and ask ourselves if
freeing a child from tyranny and oppression is the right thing any
parent can do, we might just possibly avoid the next Pearl Harbor--the
one the Beast of Terror is planning to deliver to our Children's
|For A Complete History of Pearl Harbor go to this
|December 7, 1941 Losses*
|Army and Army Air Corps
|Army and Army Air Corps
|Sunk or Beached**
Dec. 6--Wal-Mart Battles Beast of Terror Globally