We all know what today is. December 7, 1941 is a date that still lives in infamy. The deadly attack at Pearl Harbor was the first sucker punch this nation ever really endured. The date is now symbolically linked to September 11, another sucker punch we’ve had to endure as a nation.
Each occasion, Americans lost their lives to an enemy that came out of nowhere to hurt us. Today is the anniversary of the beginning of World War II for the United States of America. A war that sent millions to fight, mobilized millions at home, and forever changed the face of our world.
Prior to this date in 1941, the idea of a woman working outside of the home was, in many cases, ridiculous. However, as millions of Rosy the Riveters built planes, tanks, guns and bombs, they got a taste of work. When the boys came home, that taste stayed. Today, most households have two incomes. The idea of women in the workplace is as common as the idea of coffee in the workplace (and in many cases, even more common).
The war lead to technical advancements that we take for granted today. Jets came out of the arms race of World War II, as did rockets. Our entire space program – as well as the Soviet’s – was the result of wartime building of new, terrifying weapons.
We live in a very different world because of that war. Personally, I believe it’s a better world, but I’m partial since this is also the world I live in. However, this is a good time to remember all the people who aren’t here now who helped give us this world. Let’s remember people like my Uncle Harry, who was killed on Iwo Jima when someone put a mortar round in upside down.
Had it not been for the Japanese attack on this day, we might not even be alive today. It may have been the terrible destruction from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that gave true perspective to what nuclear weapons could do, and helped to insure that we wouldn’t release them half cocked later on.
This is the world we live in, and on this date in 1941, it changed forever.