Pearl Harbor Awoke the Best of America

77 years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked. The United States was drawn into the largest conflict in human history.  Americans were shocked, angry, and filled with a resolve like it had never before seen.
Photo Credit: Life Magazine

Americans of all types came together and put away their differences to work as a team. Past grievances, who you worshiped, who you loved, who you voted for all became a whole lot less important.  What mattered was the team.  That team pulled off the most important win in American history.

Nearly every military recruiting office in America had a line around the corner the next day.  16 million Americans set aside their youth and innocence to join the military, some as young as 15.

350,000 women joined the military. Millions others worked in factories and elsewhere to help the war effort, even while raising children by themselves.   People didn’t just ask “what can I do?”, they did it.  There was  peer pressure in every community to find a way to contribute.  Standing around with hands in pockets while the future of our country was in the balance was not acceptable.

Minorities of all kinds joined in the war effort, setting aside past mistreatment by this country to fight and die to defend it.  Young children went door to door collecting scrap items that could be used to help the war effort.

Photo Credit: United States Library of Congress

Think of how much better our team could have been if we would have used the Japanese Americans to help in the war effort.  Internment was contrary to the American ideals we were fighting for, and our great shame of the war.

People rationed and sacrificed. They slashed their usage of essential items or didn’t use them at all so the soldiers could have them.
Photo Credit: Britanica

People put aside their differences for the greater good of the country, and it’s future.  This is when America is truly great.  It shouldn’t take a war for people to realize that we are so much better when we work together.

If you know someone who was alive during world war two, thank them. Thank them for their sacrifice, their victory, and their example. You won’t have that chance for very much longer.

It would be great if current Americans could learn a little more from the greatest team our people ever assembled, and remember that we are the UNITED States.

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