Pearl Harbor is one of those mental milestones by which people reckon their lives. Others include the start of the Korean war, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the killing of his brother, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft and the more recent terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
History proved Franklin Roosevelt wrong. Dec. 7 did not live in infamy. Today the United States and Japan are close allies. Costa Rica’s president, Laura Chinchilla Miranda, happens to be in Japan this week on a state visit. And many U.S. school children have no clue about what happened 70 years ago.
What we are not remembering today is the destruction of the world by nuclear weapons. Japan is the only country that suffered nuclear blows delivered in anger. Some say this was overkill. The thousands of U.S. servicemen and women who were poised for the invasion of Japan rejoiced.
The miracle is that through strength the United States avoided mutual nuclear destruction with the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of World War II, the stage seemed to be set for a nuclear war. The United States never wanted this. Fortunately the might of the United States and its European allies dissuaded Soviet leaders from making a big mistake.
The Japanese general staff thought that a strategic blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet would cause the western giant to retreat and lick it wounds. Big mistake.
If there is a lesson here it is that even when it is down, the United States can rally and come back. This is relevant today with the damaged U.S. economy, the soaring federal deficit and policies that ship jobs overseas.
Some world leaders have turned their attention to China, and some even cede the 21st century to China. Big mistake.
Even as we remember the deaths and destruction at Pearl Harbor and the multitude of other bloody disasters, the United States is on the road back to its rightful place in the world. Given a level field, the United States can out produce any country in both food and goods.
Years of faulty leadership have let the borders collapse and have driven successful companies to seek havens in other lands. The time has come to reverse this. This is a change we can believe in.