I wish I could say that I have visited the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor -- I almost did. My friends and I vacationing in Hawaii a few years ago, took a ride out to the area, expecting to visit the memorial. Sadly, it was closed for repairs.
I did learn one interesting thing from the literature we carried with us: Every hour, a small oil bubble rises to the surface, and has done so ever since the sinking of the USS Arizona. And I saw it. Almost as good as being on the memorial site.
I don't know how many young people today would recognize the day and its significance. I say that because, a couple of years ago, I was at the screening of "Tora, Tora, Tora" the Japanese perspective of the planned bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese language was translated with English sub-titles so we could very well understand what was happening.
The movie was long enough to require an intermission, and I filed out into the lobby with the other patrons for a little refreshment. As I stood sipping my soft drink, I overheard a young woman looking about college age and her date conversing about the movie. I nearly dropped my cup of soda at the following statement from the young woman as she turned and asked him:
"Do you think the Japanese are really going to bomb Pearl Harbor?"
OMG! I thought. Does she think this is all fiction? Didn't she read the sub-titles? And, more importantly, did she not learn our nation's history, and the important dates that are impressed on our -- uh -- elderly minds?
To grow up to be a college student, don't you think she should have had a smattering of history? Especially the important dates our nation observes? And what do her classmates think? Are they as ignorant as she is? God, I hope not.
They probably don't know the adage, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Again, God, I hope not.