Today is the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. It is not one of those anniversaries ending in five or zero, not one of those that draw milestone attention like the 25th in 1966 or the 50th in 1991.
Dec. 7, 1941, is still a day to remember, for many reasons. For a dwindling number of veterans who were there and surviving family members, memories are personal. Memories are personal too for those who weren't there but were alive then. For those who were born after World War II, the "boomers," Pearl Harbor and the dark days of 1941 were both recent history and myth -- cataclysmic events that happened in another time, yet were as close as our parents.
It's estimated that only about 3,000 veterans of Pearl Harbor remain. Reunion roll calls are thin. Fewer keepers of those memories are left to remind newspaper editors of younger generations to remember the day.
And history since Pearl Harbor has crowded the "day of infamy" in its claim on our attentions, most notably another single day, 9-11. Some members of succeeding generations have had their own place names to remember forever, their own stories to tell or to keep, their own friends to remember.
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