This year marks the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on military forces at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. December 7th falls on a Sunday, just as it did on that "Day of Infamy" in 1941 when the sun dappled base was just waking up to another relaxing weekend day.
Bud started to cry before the doors of the van opened. He'd been oohing and pointing at the cyclic rate as we approached the pier, but when we slowed down and Mandy said, 'They're all here for you, Bud,' he was overwhelmed.
For those of us fortunate enough to experience this week of living history, it was difficult to leave. We take with us the knowledge that the day is near when we return and all of the survivors will be gone.
On the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I have a nagging thought that while dates with infamy are tattooed to the soul of the generation which experiences them, they lose their sacredness with each new generation.
With Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney heading up a desultory field of Republican patriots, all pretending they have a lock on American national pride, I'd like to say a few things as a professional American historian and biographer.