Volume 4, Issue 1 University of Houston
Americans to remember second day of infamy
Matthew E. Caster
Friday was the 60-year anniversary of what is now the second darkest day in American history. December 7, 1941 was described by Franklin Roosevelt as "a date which will live in infamy." Through the years, that prophecy has rung true. Within hours of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it was being compared to the Japanese surprise attack on our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The parallels between the two events certainly warrant the comparison. Both times, our nation was under the impression that the United States was immune from attack -- especially now, since we have the most powerful, most intelligent armed forces in the world. Who in their right mind would attack the United States, the only remaining superpower on Earth? But then again, Osama bin Laden is hardly in his right mind.
Both times, the sleeping giant was awakened across the nation. Patriotism has shone through more brightly in the last few months than it has since World War II. People genuinely care for the welfare of this nation. People everywhere have accepted the call to defend freedom.
After that dark day in 1941, our nation rose to the occasion, and fought a grueling, bitter, four-year campaign against Nazism in Europe and Imperialism in the Pacific. Thousands of Americans gave their last full measure of devotion fighting for our freedom and security. In only a year, the patriotism and sacrifice of Americans did what no legislation could: rescue us from the arms of economic depression.
Now it would appear the same is likely to happen. On top of the horrendous loss of life in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania was a serious economic impact that only deepened a recession we were already in. But Americans have accepted the call to carry the economy, and all signs point to a strong recovery next year.
Likewise the American military has accepted the call to defend freedom wherever it is threatened. Several thousand American troops have given up their chance to be home with their loved ones over the holidays so that they can liberate a people enslaved by their leaders, and destroy an organization that threatens the very foundation of liberty and freedom.
The circumstances under which these tragedies occurred, and the noble, patriotic response of our nation are quite similar. But the greatest similarity between these two events is the certainty of the outcome. Throughout history, the United States has been unparalleled in its devotion to the protection of core values, making this nation the bastion of freedom and justice. Wherever those values are under attack, our nation has the steadfast resolve to ensure their survival.
Just before the celebration of the 60-year anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Congress unanimously passed a declaration that solidified Sept. 11 as another date that will live in the annals of United States history. On that day next year, we will remember the tragedy of that infamous day with a new national holiday: Patriot Day. That, my friends, is the perfect name for the day when the entire nation united to rise against terrorism. God bless America.
Caster, a junior chemical engineering major,