World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect
Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.
But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.
Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now – not because Trump has praised veterans and made many vaporous promises to them, and not because of the new bellicosity of the president-elect – when he declares he knows more than the generals, or that he has now a new “Gen. Patton”, or that he’s going to build the military back up – no, none of these.
The special meaning arises because an entire generation of Americans 70 to 75 years ago – including my father – marched off to fight German Nazism, Italian Fascism and Japanese Imperial expansionism – along with the other millions of soldiers of the Allies – with many dying in those battles.