Much ado is being made that John Lennon has been gone for 30 years.
Almost as important as Elvis and Chuck Berry, John Lennon revolutionized popular music. The Beatles transformed the music scene, turned the world of popular music on its ear. The colossal impact of the Beatles still reverberates strongly throughout the musical world. No doubt that John Lennon was a musical genius who inspired all of us who picked up an electric guitar ands enriched the lives of mankind beyond description.
I remember hanging my head in sorrow on the evening of December 8, 1980 when he was gunned down in New York City by terminal psycho whackjob Mark David Chapman.
John Lennon should be remembered for his musical genius, but his memory should not ever eclipse that of true heroes – the 2,400 brave men who paid the ultimate sacrifice on December 7, 1941, a date that President Roosevelt said would “live in infamy.”
I have been reminded for over a week on both radio and television that John Lennon will be gone for 30 years tomorrow, December 8. Alternatively, I have not read or heard a word in the previous week or two that 2,400 sailors lost their lives and 1,200 more were wounded 69 years ago today, December 7th.
The priorities of our media befuddle me.
There are few days in America’s history that are critically important. December 7, 1941 is one of those days. It is a day to be remembered, revered and honored. It is as important as July 4, 1776; June 6, 1944; or September 11, 2001. December 7, 1941 matters.
December 7, 1941 is not only pivotal in the annals of American history but also in the history of the world. It was on this date that America entered WWII and began the long, bloody, four year struggle to save the world from Japanese and German brutality, tyranny and oppression.
Had the Greatest Generation failed to crush such abject evil, the world would look much different today. Quite possibly, there would have been no Beatles’ music, no Strawberry Fields Forever, no John Lennon to immortalize.
Many of the sailors who perished 69 years ago today still rest beneath shallow waters in Pearl Harbor. Their tomb is the USS Arizona. Small droplets of oil from the fuel tanks of the USS Arizona still float lazily to the surface. These droplets of oil serve as a reminder of the Greatest Generation heroes who rest just beneath the surface of the water.
The USS Arizona memorial is a solemn, quiet place. The boats of talkative tourists become quiet as the boat approaches the memorial. When I was on the memorial years ago, few words were spoken by the tourists. Few cameras clicked though everyone had a camera.
Today, the mighty USS Missouri floats near the USS Arizona memorial. The USS Missouri is the retired battleship where the Japanese signed the surrender terms in Tokyo Harbor in August, 1945. May the USS Missouri stand guard forever over the USS Arizona and its sailors.
There are a few sailors left who were there that terrible Sunday morning 69 years ago when so many of their fellow sailors lost their lives and so many others wounded and permanently maimed. They should be honored at the Kennedy Center by the president.
The world has changed much in the last 69 years, but what will never change in the hearts and minds of Americans who care is that December 7th is a day that will forever live in infamy.
God bless all the warriors of Pearl Harbor. They will matter forever.