Monday, December 07, 2009

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.--George Santayana

Sixty-eight years ago today Japanese navy planes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Most of you who read my blog probably don't need a long description of this event and its consequences for our country.  That's not what I'm writing about today, although it's a fascinating subject. When I was in high school I read everything I could get my hands on about WW II, and wrote a lengthy research paper on the Battle of Midway.  Names like Nimitz, Yamamoto, and the Enterprise, Hornet, Kaga, and Akagi still bring back memories for me of studying that battle in depth.

What's on my mind today, however, is this:  today will pass, for the majority of Americans, with little thought of the historical import of Pearl Harbor.  In February 2008 journalist Steven Knipp wrote for George Mason University's History News Network:
In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education reported that nearly six out of 10 high school seniors knew so little about their own nation’s history that many are basically historically illiterate.
The rest of his article is worth reading, if you can stand to read about just how uninformed American teenagers are these days.  I wonder how much they know about World History?

I don't have the time to get into the "Who is to Blame?" factor, especially since right now I'm supposed to be doing school with my own children, whose schoolwork has devolved into sitting across the table from each other seeing who can roll their tongue or turn it over.  Is it the schools' fault?  Parents?  TV? iPod? Video Games?  Individuals?  I really don't know.  I'm merely lamenting the fact that most people I know don't care about history, don't know about history, and apparently haven't learned anything from history.  As a Christian who believes God's Word is true AND historical, I value history highly.  It makes me sad that most people do not.

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