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Passing the torch… a duty all Americans owe.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt may have indeed been correct in calling December 7th, 1941 “… a date which will live in infamy.”

But that date of “infamy” will only “live” if Americans see and understand the importance of not only studying and remembering that date in our nation’s history, but help to ensure that our current younger generation, as well as future generations of Americans see and understand that importance as well.

Why should Americans actually study and remember the importance of that day?

There are myriad reasons, but first and foremost is to carry-on the admonition from another President, President Abraham Lincoln, who during his famous Gettysburg Address stressed his belief in the moral duty we owe to those who fight and give their “full measure of their devotion” for this country, when he stated, “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

In making such a resolution, we cannot carry-out that duty without learning the history that not only led up to the attack, but how that attack ushered America into the most destructive war in the course of human history; a war that took the lives of more than 407,000 Americans.

How did America respond to that infamous attack? Why was it seen as such a cowardly attack? What was the mindset of the American people as a whole prior to the attack? Did America “deserve” to be attacked? How did the rallying cry of “Remember Pearl Harbor” galvanize this nation?

Many questions can lead us all to the same conclusion, that remembering this truly pivotal moment in American history is crucial in learning how a free people, when faced with tyranny from seemingly every quarter of the globe, could catapult this nation into the most productive and powerful economy and force for good the world has ever seen.

The Pearl Harbor Survivors have sworn an oath to “Remember Pearl Harbor and Keep America Alert!”… it’s their “duty to remember” that day.

Mere words have never been enough for them. The Survivors have fulfilled that oath with decades of action and effort that will go down in history as an inspiration and benchmark for all other organizations to look to… for those who also make it their mission to remember the sacrifices of others for their Freedoms.

I hope you’ll take the time to take a look at the following websites. That torch of remembrance helps to light the road to Freedom… a torch we should all be willing to carry, nay, honored to.

USS Arizona Memorial Visitors Center
Operated by the National Park Service

USS Arizona Memorial Museum Association

Naval Historical Center: Pearl Harbor Collection
(More than 5,000 pages of facts, figures and very large imagery files…may take time to load, but well worth the wait)

Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum Association and Visitor Center

USS Arizona Memorial Book Store
Books, DVDs and gifts for every age group

Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund

USS Missouri Battleship Museum,
Ford Island, Hawaii

Pacific Aviation Museum, Ford Island, Hawaii

Admiral Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War