Let’s not forget.
Maybe it’s normal for cultures to lose their memories, or at least to roll them forward to more-recent events. By that logic, perhaps September 11, 2001 should serve as the current generation’s version of December 7, 1941. Does it? I don’t think so. I think we’re losing the memories, old and new, as we lose cultural self-awareness. We’re losing cultural self-awareness because we are losing cultural self-confidence. We are losing cultural self-confidence in large part because we allowed our educational system to be taken over by people who see cultural self-confidence as a crime.
From the Naval Historical Center:
By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan’s diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.
Change the details and this story becomes generic. The most important events tend to be unanticipated, and not for anyone’s lack of trying to anticipate them. We should remember this truth even if we fail to remember specific events, though I suspect that the forgetting of events begets the forgetting of principles.
Interesting times ahead.
UPDATE: Via David Foster, this excellent post from Neptunus Lex.