I was 12 years old when this nation observed the 15th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. It was looked upon then as a tragic incident with lessons that had to be learned, lessons that became learned and this nation assumed a new role in global responsibility and world leadership.
Now that we have observed the anniversary of 9/11, to those who learned about it in the news or were present where it happened, memories of it are still raw. To those who were too young to learn of it or who were not even born yet, memories are not vivid.
Regardless of how long ago a tragic incident has been, or how it is remembered, the importance of it is to bear in mind any and all lessons learned and put them into practice. The motto of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is, “Keep America Alert.”
In 2001, I attended the 60th anniversary ceremony of the Pearl Harbor attack. Pearl Harbor survivors then reiterated their slogan again then, in light of 9/11: “Keep America Alert.” And rightly so.
It was as true in 2001 as it had been in 1941 that there were lessons to be learned and had to be learned. The same necessity exists today. There are people in this world who do not like us and will do whatever they can to harm us. Consequently, the need exists to keep America alert.
Frank B. Austin, O’Fallon