IN HONOR OF PEARL HARBOR DAY: 1941 VS. 2015, A COMPARISON
Being military stationed in Hawaii, the memories of the attacks on Pearl Harbor are never far away. Abandoned military bunkers in various states of disrepair still stand. Several erect buildings' walls have bullet holes from the attacks that day that killed >2,400 Americans, destroyed or damaged eight Navy warships, and destroyed over 100 planes.
- •In honor of the 74th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks (December 7, 1941), I present this list of comparisons.
- •Then: The next day, December 8, 1941, the U.S. declared war on Japan.
- •Now: This reminds me of 9/11, the Paris attacks, San Bernardino, and more. I remember watching the towers get hit and collapse from my high school classroom windows, and losing thousands of Americans. It also reminds me of our attacks on Iraq in the supposed search for WMDs, and attacks on Afghanistan in the quest to squash al-Qaeda.
- •Then: a unified culture of giving to and supporting the war. Women left home to work in factories, build warheads, rivet planes, and plant victory gardens. Factories in Detroit stopped building cars because materials like steel and rubber needed to be refocused towards the war efforts.
- •Now: a lack of agreement about war. There are the staunch anti-war/anti-Soldier folks, the anti-war but pro-Soldier folks, the pro-war/pro-Soldier folks, and probably some other group I'm failing to recognize. Factories continued building cars; now we have war-profiteers like Halliburton. Life went on for the average American for the last 14 years.
- •Then: World cities were being attacked as part of a world war and there were constant rumors about large American cities being bombed or attacked.
- •Now: Large cities throughout the world are actually being bombed or attacked as part of an unconventional war by terrorist groups.
- •Then: racial profiling and systemic discrimination targeting anyone who might be of Japanese or German descent, even if they were American.
- •Now: racial profiling and systemic discrimination targeting anyone who might be of the Muslim faith, even if they are American.
- •Then: Ordinary Japanese people in America were treated as spies, monitored by the FBI & other illegal surveillance methods, not to mention internment camps.
- •Now: Everyday Muslims are treated like spies, monitored by the FBI, NYPD, and other illegal or un-Constitutional surveillance methods. They are often detained for questioning or selected for additional security screening at airports.
- •How much have we really changed?