Like World War II, today's challenges will take sacrifice

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sunday morning removed all doubt.

Before the bombs started falling, many Americans were leery of getting involved in another foreign war.

Yes, we had been helping England for years, shipping munitions and vital cargo across the North Atlantic, at much peril to our merchant ships and crew.

But many World War I veterans weren't anxious to see doughboys take to European trenches again, let alone the jungles of the South Pacific.

Once word of the attack reached the mainland, and Americans searched their globes to find out where, in fact, Pearl Harbor was, we knew what the following day would bring.

By the time President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared war that Monday, we were a country united.

"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," Roosevelt told the people.

"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," he said.

Roosevelt didn't survive to see his words fulfilled, but through the full commitment of citizens from every corner of our land, they were fulfilled.

The effort to win World War II touched everyone -- even McCook, Neb., which became home to a training airbase. Members of the McCook Army Air Base Historical Society will open the Veterans Memorial Garden from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, the 67th anniversary of the attack.

We face different kinds of challenges today -- the possibility of unprecedented terrorism plus economic conditions which threaten to rival the Great Depression.

Like World War II, it will take great leadership, sacrifice and united determination to see our nation return to the peace and prosperity we have enjoyed in the past.

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