The 'Day of Infamy' we must not forget

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To the Editor;

Each year that passes, we lose more and more of our World War II veterans.

With them goes the first-hand accounts of the deadliest, far reaching conflict in human history. For America World War II started in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941.

Seventy-seven years later, there remain only a precious few soldiers and sailors who lived through the tragedy of the sneak attack on our naval base on that tranquil Pacific island.

On Dec. 7, we recall the horror of that attack – and rightfully so.

Pearl Harbor is more than just a momentary battle in military history. It is an amazing story of heroism and a poignant lesson for our nation that we cannot allow to fade away.

Two thousand four hundred and eight United States servicemen died in that early Sunday morning attack at the hands of the imperialist Japanese Navy.

Fifteen U.S. sailors were Medal of Honor recipients, only five survived the unimaginable destruction of that day.

Last month, the oldest living survivor of Pearl Harbor died at age 106.

There are believed to be fewer than 200 survivors remaining from the 58,000 who were members of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

Thousands of other servicemen and women committed unimagined acts of bravery that day in the face of a brazen attack on U.S. sovereignty and went on to fight valiantly in the Pacific.

The lessons of Pearl Harbor are as stark and important as the heroes who survived it.

The attack dragged, America into a conflict it was trying to avoid – and a war it was not prepared to fight.

Quickly, however, America rose to the challenge of a World war. Differences at home were put aside to fight evil in Europe and Asia. American industrial and military power were unleashed and their impact influences the world to this day.

The lessons of Dec. 7, 1941 for us and future generations is that we must always be prepared against unprovoked acts of aggression. Our nation must always be vigilant, and we must never forget the heroes who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor - and those who unselfishly risked their lives to save the lives of others.

New Jersey Assemblywoman

BettyLou DeCroce, R-26

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