Many Americans remember that on this day in 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States subsequently joined World War II. I say ‘many’ because as the decades tumble after each other, there are fewer and fewer people alive who actually remember.
Which leaves it to books and film to help the rest of us understand. I hope these media are up to the task, because it is important not to forget our past.
But there is another reason I honor December 7. Twenty-one years ago today, my stepfather died unexpectedly. My mother, his wife, had gone to the airport to see a friend off on a trip and returned to find her beloved husband had passed away in his sleep.
It was the start of a truly difficult time for her, because Ollie adored my mother when others found her difficult. In addition, he added so much to my adult life; because when I left home to marry and move away, he took my place. As an only child, I welcomed a silent partner in caring for my mother.
Now she is gone too, which is all the more reason to pause and remember. Books and film will not record our personal family history as it has done with Pearl Harbor. So I do it here.