Most Americans were not even alive on the day nearly three-quarters of a century ago that changed the course of history. But the minds of most still are fresh about another day that lives in infamy as a reminder of the danger of ignoring the lessons of Dec. 7, 1941.
It was on that day that Japan attacked the U.S. fleet in Pearl Harbor, propelling Americans into World War II. The greatest generation learned failure to take seriously a threat to national security could have terrible consequences.
Americans went on to win World War II and to vow "never again."
But we let down our guard again and paid for it dearly on Sept. 11, 2001, when Islamic terrorists attacked America. We are still in the midst of what really is a war to determine whether free, peace-loving people will be allowed to rule our own destinies.
Today is Pearl Harbor Day, an occasion when thoughtful Americans mourn the many good men and women who died in World War II. The day also stands as a reminder of the penalties that must be paid when we forget that free people always must be vigilant against our enemies.