The world, and especially the nation, remembered Pearl Harbor last Wednesday. December 7 is, indeed, a day that has lived “in infamy. So the president and the man who will follow him into the White House both issued appropriate statements. A moving ceremony took place at the scene of the attack, with a 94-year-old survivor from the USS Arizona honored and speaking. Among those killed in the attack were 1,177 of his shipmates. A flight of planes, in the missing man formation, passed overhead and taps was played by a Navy band. Hard, even if you were merely watching on television, to keep the emotions down.
A day or two earlier, the prime minister of Japan had announced that he would soon be making a visit to Pearl Harbor. Not to apologize, it was quickly made clear, but as a gesture toward healing.
So Pearl Harbor has, indeed, been remembered. And this is undeniably right and proper and, one would hope, wise. But one does wonder if, perhaps, while the event is remembered and commemorated, we may be on the way to forgetting its lessons. Not so much those about preparedness but those about a dangerous world and America's place in it.