Worldview: Infamy: on why never forgetting matters

via https://www.recreation.gov/showPage.do?name=landing&landing=/htm/pearlharbor/home.jsp&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72369

The USS Arizona Memorial via Recreation.gov

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was correct when he declared that December 7th, 1941 would be a day that will live in infamy. The brutal Japanese attack on the US bases at Pearl Harbor shocked what had been just before a naive and isolationist nation into realizing the reality of the state of the world and plunged it into three and a half years of some of the most brutal warfare the world has ever known.

Yet, 75 years later, it is easy to forget the lessons Americans needed to learn from that event and to imagine lessons that should be forgotten.

The fact is that we should not remember Pearl Harbor out of some sense of xenophobia or bigotry or fear. It is easy to imagine that we should be suspect of those different from us and cast them as enemies, but if we were to do so, we would be wrong. The attack on Pearl Harbor was about far different lessons.

Instead, we should remember Pearl Harbor, and indeed all of World War Two, for what it represents about the world. The world is an unsettled, dangerous place, and it always has been. There has never been a time when the price of liberty is not eternal vigilance, and even when we are most vigilant, those who oppose us retain the ability to strike.

But, instead of despairing and fearing that reality, it should prompt us to adhere even more fully to the ideals that should define us. We should advance liberty even more. We should protect the oppressed with more zeal. We should prove to the whole world why we are a beacon rather than a blight.

It is by remembering the nature of our darkest days that we remember who we are. We must take hold of the ideals those events woke and put them into action. We must not let the darkness overcome the light. This is why we remember.

Never forget.

DLH

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Worldview: 9-11

Thirteen years on, it’s hard not to be negative on a day like today. The memories are still fresh, though perhaps finally tinged with that halo that begins to surround an intensely lived day, fresh enough that I see our nation making the same mistakes it once did, believing that somehow it can get away with this time things no nation ever has.

None of this should really be a surprise for anyone who has paid attention to history. It is almost if history curses great nations to make such mistakes. It is almost if history demands people ignore what they once knew with such intensity.

Yet, I have not forgotten, nor will I. I remember the nearly 3,000 people who died because a cancerous ideology declared death to America. I have not forgotten that the war America’s enemies–the world’s enemies–declared is one they have been fighting for a very long time and will fight for a very long time more. I have not forgotten that my nation needs me, once as a soldier and now as a citizen.

I have not forgotten. Look around you. Have you?

Dennis L Hitzeman

11 September 2014

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Worldview: 9-11

I solemnly swear that I will always remember what happened on September 11, 2001.

I will not forget.

I will not forget that nearly 3,000 of my fellow Americans were murdered in the name of an ideology of hate.

I will not forget that my inalienable right is liberty.

I will not forget that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

I will not forget that the price of liberty is mine to pay.

I will not forget my brothers and sisters who give freely of themselves to ensure the liberty of others.

I will not stand by and watch my liberty or anyone else’s be taken away.

And I affirm that I will do everything within my power to uphold and advance the cause of liberty.

I will succeed on the merits of my own work.

I will, as I am able, encourage and help others to do the same.

I will not forget charity.

I will stand for liberty for as long as I have breath.

And when my time comes, I will do my best to ensure what I have done lays the foundation for those who follow after.

To this I pledge myself, my honor, and my life. May the God of my fathers grant me success.

Dennis L Hitzeman

September 11, 2011

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Worldview: Overlord

67 years ago today, the allied forces of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Poland, and others fought one of the most significant battles in human history against the occupying forces of Nazi Germany. The Allies won that battle by a mixture of daring, tenacity, and wisdom that has rarely been shown since.

Why remember such an event? Because, like all history, it is our privilege to learn the lessons discovered by their blood sweat and sacrifice. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

DLH

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