You Are Not Forgotten

Stick with me on this column, because it’s not my usual style.  But I am a firm believer that right is right and something is SO wrong today.

Today is December 7, 2017.   In 1941, seventy-four years ago, this day was a much different day.  In fact, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the next day, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

I cannot imagine the horror and fear that erupted in Hawaii at 7:55 am when the first Japanese dive bomber swarmed down on the island and started unleashing the devastating, surprise attack on the quiet, sleepy harbor.  Obviously, this was an attack and a tragedy that our country suffered and eventually survived several decades ago.  A tragic loss of 2403 lives occurred in the attack and 1178 people were wounded.  It is beyond my comprehension that 1177 officers and crewmen lost their lives that day on the USS Arizona, with many, horrifically dying trapped in the ship because they could not be saved.  That ship remains their tomb, underwater in Pearl Harbor to this day.

Twenty-three SETS of brothers were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I had to let that actually sink in for a minute.  It’s actually hard to fathom.  Just because this happened seventy-four years ago, time shouldn’t lessen its significance.  As a country have we suffered more recent attacks ?  We absolutely have.

Each one should remain significant.

So how in God’s name is today, December 7, also known as National Cotton Candy Day and also National Illinois Day?  What kind of insanity is that?  How do we forget the importance of the losses we suffered at Pearl Harbor and proclaim December 7, a day for something as whimsical and light-hearted as Cotton Candy and the state of Illinois?

Quite honestly that just pisses me off.

It is disrespectful and yes, the Queen has the red ass.

I can’t help but wonder what brilliant minds were sitting together in a room, trying to pick a day for their special day and said, “hey, let’s choose December 7th !?  Yes!!! That will be our day !!!”  I would have immediately said, “Uhhhh…that’s Pearl Harbor Day. No way.”   But we all know where I reign and on this day, that’s just fine.  I’m happy to sit atop my crazy throne and speak out for the many lives that were lost while they were serving our country.

The day before the attack, the ship had been loaded with 1.5 million gallons of fuel, in preparation for its trip to the mainland. It is estimated that 9 quarts of oil still leak daily into the water surrounding the sunken ship.  The oil coats the top of the water and is referred to as the “tears of the Arizona.”  Those black tears, as they are sometimes called, are not the only ones that are being shed for the souls that were lost in Pearl Harbor.  With my own tears streaming, I say to all of you:

Your dreams were cut short, but your lives mattered.

On this day, December 7, 2017, I honor you, not cotton candy and not the state of Illinois.

You are not forgotten.