Few of us will forget when and where we were that dreadful Tuesday morning eight years ago when it became apparent the nation was under attack in a manner in which no nation has ever seen before.
Many of us vowed to "never forget" those feelings or that day ---- a sentiment we share ---- but what about the future? Certainly we want our children and grandchildren to remember that day, but what about their grandchildren and the countless generations to come after them?
It is easy to say they should pause (as many of us do) on this sad anniversary and pay a small, solemn homage to those lost and those still suffering from the multipronged attack on the nation and its sense of security. But will we instill in them the need to always remember?
Always remember. Easy to say; harder to actually do.
Americans are good at remembering some things tied to pivotal events that have shaped this country ---- the Fourth of July, for one. But with other events, especially after the passage of time, our track record isn't so good. Consider:
1). March 6, 1836.
2). July 3, 1863.
3). Feb. 15, 1898.
4). Nov. 11, 1918.
5). Dec. 7, 1941.
6). June 4-7, 1942.
7). June 6, 1944.
8). Nov. 27-Dec. 13, 1950.
9). Jan. 31, 1968.
Remember all of these?
If not, know that someone at some time did, and hoped that the importance of these dates and the lives lost would not be forgotten by future Americans.
So, as we remember this day and what it meant to us then, and still does mean; as we pay tribute to the dead and the lives shattered on this day, reflect on this simple fact: It is our duty to ensure future generations remember why this date is important.
That is the best way of all for us to honor this date.
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Answers to the dates, in order:
1). "Remember the Alamo," the fall of that chapel-turned-fortress in San Antonio.
2). The turning point of the Civil War, the failure of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.
3). "Remember the Maine," the sinking of the USS Maine at Havana that triggered the Spanish-American War.
4). The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the end of World War I, the "War to End All Wars" (best known today as Veterans Day).
5). The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, triggering the U.S. entry into World War II.
6). The turning point of the war in the Pacific, the Battle of Midway during WWII.
7). The turning point of the war in Europe known as D-Day, the Allied invasion of occupied France during WWII.
8). The Korean War's Chosin Reservoir Campaign, a strategic Chinese victory but a tactical U.S. victory and U.S. retreat.
9). The turning point of the Vietnam War with the beginning of the Tet Offensive, which was a tactical U.S. victory but a political defeat.