I have been watching Meet the Press, it is almost over and finally Chuck Todd mentioned Pearl Harbor. He said, “I’ve been there, and when you see the oil rising from the Arizona it is like the ghosts of those who were killed that day.” (I may have the quote a little bit off)
It made me think of those who were killed and those who fought in the war that attack precipatated. What would they think of today’s world? What would they think of our morals, our sense of history, our sense of what is right and what is wrong, or not wrong? What would they think of our music, our dances, our performers, our politicians, our homes (many of which would be palaces compared to theirs) our cars, our streets, our freeways. What would they think of our way of life, of the sense of entitlement even from those who work for it?
All I can do to answer those questions from the mind of a person who was a five year old girl at the time.
I lived in a small town. A great many of the people of the day lived in small towns, the great suburbanization of America happened after WWII. I had cousins and grandparents who lived close by and many more within a 25 mile radius. Within a year and a half we had moved, as had many others around the country as fathers and uncles went to war, (Mine did not, they did not want men with five children). We moved to Texas to where Phillips Petroleum, whose national headquarters were near my small town, had what was called at the time a “war plant.” That means they were involved in the national war effort and butadiene, which was part of the process of making a synthetic rubber, was made at that plant.
Looking back on it I see that was the beginning of a national displacement of families, you moved around and away from where your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were. At least that is what happened to our family and to that of many of our friends. But we knew we were all in this war together, there was no great anti war protests, no one if they felt that way had the nerve to say so in public. They would have been shamed by the first their families, and then the crowd.
That is no longer the case. Families are scattered, many do not even know their cousins if they are fortunate enough to have them. Many people do not even know their neighbors. The suburbs are not small towns, they do not have the same close feel as people in small towns do.
So is this cause and effect? I don’t know, I just know what is, and as they say “it is what it is.” And as I see it, it is a mess of a culture. For many there is no God, no shame, no morals, no sense of real pride in self or hard work. Apparently many seem to think we all owe them a living, a nice home, a car, a smart phone and many of the great inventions of the past 70 years.
The silver lining is there are many who still have the American work ethic, the pride of country and patriotism we all felt that day so many, many years ago. God Bless the USA.