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Genny Anderson, Anderson Homeschool, Camano Island, WA

Ingenuity, Sacrifice, and Teamwork

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese planned and executed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This attack was truly devastating with thousands killed, many injured, battleships sunk and numerous planes and air strips bombed and destroyed. The bombing of Pearl Harbor should be remembered because it began America’s involvement in World War II, created an atmosphere of ingenuity, sacrifice and teamwork and reminds us to be alert.

Everyone in the United States came together with money and supply saving ideas because resources were in short supply. People collected bottle caps, left over cooking oil, and metal scraps to help build war supplies. Many families planted victory gardens so they didn’t have to buy canned vegetables. Letters were written to encourage the troops and blankets were made for the wounded soldiers in the hospitals. Many men and women worked countless hours building war ships, raising money and volunteering with the Red Cross. For over four years, the citizens of the United States supported the war effort from home.

Now it is 2011, we have been at peace with Japan for over 65 years. Many people have forgotten, are ignoring or have chosen not to care about this amazing story of death, life and victory. The history of Pearl Harbor teaches great principles that can be carried into the future.

The soldiers demonstrated courage by their willingness to say good-bye to their homes and families – knowing they may never return. For the families left behind, a life of sacrifice was eminent. Shortages of butter, sugar, fuel and rubber were common. This self sacrifice demonstrated their love of country, rather than their love of self.

It is important to remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War II because many gave their lives for our freedom. Pearl Harbor was a catalyst for the building of national unity and it demonstrated American citizen’s selflessness. It also reminds us that the United States of America is not invincible. We must remain alert and not make assumptions when it comes to unknown planes and ships on the radar advancing. It reminds us that freedom is not free. Many gave their lives for freedom and continue to do so. The bombing of Pearl Harbor also reminds us that even good can come out of bad.

The history and bravery of all aspects of America’s past wars, including Pearl Harbor and World War II should be taught repetitively and accurately. Parents and teachers should share how war has impacted and can impact our lives.

So, yes, I believe we should remember Pearl Harbor, and what better way than talking about it with family, teaching it in school and building / visiting historical monuments that will hopefully keep this story of bravery and need for alertness alive for generations to come.

Thank you World War II survivors – for your bravery and dedication for others, America and the future.

Remember Pearl Harbor, Keep America Alert.


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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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