Overcoming Infamy

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“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, from His Address to a Joint Session of Congress, December 8, 1941

Remember. One of the most challenging combinations of three syllables in the English language. How easily we forget. How much we’ve forgot. How little we value what we have. As Thomas Paine once said in The American Crisis, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

In remembrance of those who gave their lives not just on this date seventy-nine years ago at Pearl Harbor, but throughout all of World War II and every other major American conflict, and in remembrance of all who continue to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in the defense of one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, we place this hard stop on the day to deepen, and we pledge to overcome infamy whatever the cost.

Overcoming Infamy

Vincent H. Anastasi 2020

A Found Poem from “Pearl Harbor” by the History.com Editors, Accessed December 7, 2020

Seventy-nine years ago,
Sunday morning skies darkened
as the thunder of hundreds
of Japanese fighter planes
unleashed a rain of bullets and bombs.
The irresistibly easy target,
the unexpected sudden destruction,
the deceptively simple plan:
cripple a nation
and expand dominion
throughout the South Pacific.

Arizona exploded and sank.
Oklahoma lost her balance,
rolled onto her side
and slipped underwater.
California, Utah, Maryland,
Tennessee, West Virginia, Nevada,
Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania
all sustained significant damage.
2,403 sailors, soldiers, and civilians killed;
the confidence of a nation shaken
on a day which still lives in infamy.

Today we stand on familiar shores,
awakened by the sudden and deliberate attack,
the premeditated invasion,
the dominion seeking to silence
the will of the people.
No time to wait too long,
no cost to defend liberty too high,
but we will make sure, hold fast,
and win through to absolute victory
that this form of treachery
shall never endanger us again.

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