For the United States, World War II began with Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. My generation arrived 20 years after the end of the war, and most of us looked at the black-and-white photos of sunken ships, raging oil fires and floating bodies with the detachment of middle school social studies students.

U.S. service members at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, experienced this event in excruciating color: The fires burned orange to blue-hot from the oil and ordnance, and American blood spilled in dark crimson. The pain wasn’t simply black and white. The anger and resolve of a nation were in vivid color, too. America quickly prepared for all-out war.

How will today’s generation and future generations remember these great sacrifices without colorful drama played out on the likes of YouTube or Facebook? How do we teach our children the significance of events that are recorded almost completely in black and white or in paintings and pages? Let us teach them that sacrifices such as those at Pearl Harbor are as relevant today as they were in 1941.

James E. Toner, Seacliff

 

Dec. 7 is a somber anniversary to reflect on when America was attacked by Japanese air and naval forces on a quiet, sunny Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor.

U.S. military casualties totaled more than 3,400, including more than 2,300 killed on that “date which shall live in infamy,” as described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Nations that try to do us harm in military actions learn soon enough that even though it may take time, they will be decimated by the finest forces in the world.

Mike Pedano, South Farmingdale