This day, December 7th, marks the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese to begin our entrance into World War II.  2,402 died that day and another 1,282 were wounded.  It was a devastating attack on a military base that crippled our Navy fleet for some time.  The aftermath was mass enlistment by hundreds of thousands of men and women into the armed forces, women entering the work place to take over jobs and a restrictive rationing of everything from meat to gasoline.  Everyone in America came together to fight the enemy.  Contrast this patriotic response to our more recent attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11th, 2001.  Approximately 3,600 civilians were killed with untold thousands affected by the absolute destruction of two huge office buildings in the center of the largest city in the United States as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and an aborted attack on the White House which ended in a downed plane in Pennsylvania.  The out pouring of love and volunteerism among Americans from all of over this great nation was deeply moving.  Then, with the ashes still smoldering, our President told us to go shopping and devised a color system whereby we would be alerted if more attacks might occur.  We deployed thousands of troops to Afghanistan to search for the leaders of this attack.  The War of Terror had begun, completely unfunded by any act of Congress, no draft or no rationing.  Two years later, we abandoned the search in Afghanistan and invaded Iraq which really had nothing to do with the attacks of 911.  Once again, there was no increase in taxes, no rationing and no draft.  Instead, many reservists were called up and many of the troops saw recurring deployment to war zones.  The country, politically polarized since the 2000 election, forgot about the war and broke into two distinct parties labeled by red and blue.  We remain in Afghanistan to this day.  Over 100,000 have been killed, including civilians, and thousands more maimed for life with inadequate assistance upon their return.  These two tragic events evidence the transformation and decay of our country.  Today is a sad day in many respects but no more so than the loss of true patriotism and unity.

Categories: General
carl swanson

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