JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dec. 7, 1941 — one of the most significant days in U.S. and world history — lives in infamy.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was exactly 81 years ago Wednesday. At Naval Station Mayport, a new generation of sailors paused in remembrance, honoring lost comrades of the “Greatest Generation.”
Naval Station Mayport Commanding Officer Captain Brian Binder shared the importance of remembering such a somber day.
“This uniform bonds us, regardless of where we come from or how we grew up,” Binder said.
In December 1941, Japanese forces mounted a surprise aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy base in Honolulu, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and there was unspeakable damage to ships and planes on the base.
That day America was under attack is often compared by younger generations to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“We talk about Dec. 7, we also talk about 9-11. These sailors were not born then, they didn’t experience 9-11, much like I didn’t experience Dec. 7,” Binder said. “But I’ll tell you what I see in this generation. I see drive, I see inspiration and I see a whole generation from all 50 states wearing the same uniform, with the same willingness to sacrifice for our country, which is awesome to see on a daily basis.”
Most of the people on that island, were waking up to breakfast that morning. Nobody imagined what was about to happen.
At Mayport, the message of sacrifice was first to remember what it means to serve.
“I think a big part of this day is to understand the importance of service to your community and service to your nation,” Binder said. “It doesn’t have to be in a uniform, but service matters.”
Flags were flown at half-staff across the country Wednesday to pay respects to our fallen heroes of Pearl Harbor.