At Shift, our thoughts today are with the veterans – and their families – of Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago today was a “date which will live in infamy” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said. The Japanese surprise blitz, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, against our armed forces across the Pacific resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, and brought the United States into World War II, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands more Americans – and tens of millions across the globe.
That attack, and the resulting loss of life, is remembered solemnly by most. But for one liberal Seattle organization, that memory is a political one – as evidenced by this tweet from Fuse Washington:
On this 75th anniversary of #PearlHarbor, we remember the Japanese-Americans here in Washington that were forced into concentration camps.
— Fuse Washington (@FuseWA) December 7, 2016
Even on the anniversary of a day of such pain for our country, no one can dispute that the loss of liberty later suffered by people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast – at the hands of their own government which was fighting a war against a country many had never lived in – was a tragedy. And it deserves recognition and apology, which the internment policy has justifiably received in the decades since.
However, on this day – December 7 – to remember “concentration camps” instead of the proud men and women who lost their lives that day is shameful. Evidently it is more important for the folks at Fuse to remain steadfastly – and extremely – partisan even on solemn occasions.
And for one of our Shift team members, Fuse’s political posturing is even more offensive. Because on December 7, 1941, his grandfather was stationed at Kaneohe Naval Air Station. This is where the Hawaiian attack began, as history notes that, “two waves of Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft bombed and strafed Kaneohe Naval Air Station, several minutes before Pearl Harbor was attacked.”
The areas “bombed and strafed” that morning included the military housing where his grandparents lived. His grandmother watched as her next door neighbor was “strafed” down in his front yard by enemy aircraft as he tried to get his wife back in the house from retrieving the morning paper, a horrific event which (according to family history) caused her to go into labor for a short time.
However, doctors were rather busy dealing with the thousands of casualties that day, so a pregnant woman was of less immediate concern, and in their view the baby had likely been lost due to the emotional trauma.
Fortunately, the doctors proved to be wrong, and a baby daughter was born four days later. Amid all the death and destruction of December 7, that baby proved to be a very popular one indeed for the military families living through the tragedy. And in the years to come, she was always welcomed back to the anniversary events at Pearl Harbor when she could attend.
And so, at Shift, we remember on December 7th those who served, and those who did not survive this day 75 years ago, who were protecting the rights of those who chose not to remember them on this day.
Thank you, all veterans.
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