07 December 2011

Honoring December 7th

It's one of those things...for a while its very fresh and very important to everyone. Then it dies down and it seems like so many forget, but the reminders keep coming back.  Its been 70 years since the attack at Pearl Harbor and September marked 10 years for the attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.
"fears of Japanese saboteurs in the USA were "greatly exaggerated and led to one of the most egregious violations of civil liberties in our history."..."in the wake of 9/11, with similar fears of domestic terrorism, we have a new appreciation of the difficulty of balancing legitimate security interests with unfounded fears."

My husband deployed for the first time a few short years after 9/11 when the war began, then again in 2006. At the time there were still so many flags, banners, yellow ribbons and awareness of the war and support for the troops.  He made it home safely and we began our "real" life and our family to continue for the three years to follow his return.  He worked a "safe" job, with his unit being meddac. I say "safe" because for us, or me anyway, it was easy to forget what was still happening.  The war was still going on, but pushed to the back of my mind most days.  Quite a few of the guys he had been deployed with the first two times had gone to Afghanistan...and then one day it hit me like a slap in the face.  My husband got a phone call that something had happened and a few of those "brothers" we're in rough shape. Just because its not my soldier doesn't mean its not someone else's.Again, in 2010, another call that resulted in my husband escorting a fallen brother to Arlington National    Cemetery and assisting in laying him to rest.  It is always so much a reminder that the war is still very much alive and so many were still fighting back against what had happened that September day.

"9/11 pushed us further down a road we'd been on, as an international superpower, ever since Pearl Harbor."

As I drove to work this morning, I saw many flags at half-mast and I was reminded that every year on this day we still remember what happened at Pearl Harbor in 1941. It seems that so often and so easily that once the initial shock is gone and the waving flags can only be seen on certain days of remembrance. Same is true for the disappearance of the yellow ribbons on the trees and the magnets on the vehicles the longer this war goes on.

Support the troops is an action, not a slogan...An action that should still be seen more often. As another deployment comes to an end for my family I'm thankful to have my soldier returning home to us safely.  I also burst with pride at the newest "notch on his belt" that is the successful completion of his third deployment and the sacrifices he's made along the way.

In 2008, this soldier and I visited Hawaii with Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial at the top of our to-do list.  Even almost seventy years later, and I'm sure still to this day, the memorial is a somber place.  Majority of the people there are very respectful and I spent my time there in awe.  Just as we will never forget what happened on December 7, 1941 we will never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. It's just one of those things...

For me, I can also tell you the exact day that I had my husband in my arms again after so many very long months when he returned home the last time...and I don't see this time being any different.  Remembrance, just like celebrating every year the day someone was born, isn't only about remembering times of sorrow but also of times we're overjoyed and filled with pride.  May we always remember, some gave all and all gave some...and some still continue to.

I'll be back tomorrow with today's Photographing December...


No comments:

Post a Comment