I sat on the morning of June 6 with varied thoughts. First of all, I remember D-Day. I was a girl of almost 7. My dad was overseas in the Pacific but I was understanding the importance of D-Day. I felt it meant my dad would be home soon (he didn’t get home until November 1945).
Secondly, I was thinking of and missing my husband. June 6 was his birth date. On D-Day, he celebrated his 18th birthday twice because he was on board ship and crossed the international dateline. I did not know him then. In fact I did not meet him until I was 21. But more importantly I began to think about how we must keep this day in remembrance forever. It is that important to those principles on which our country stands.
We have kept July 4 in the forefront of our observances, as well as Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day (Armistice Day). But I am concerned that these and several other important dates are being lost to our memory and not taught in much detail if at all.
Three Decembers ago was the 75th observance of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fortunately our Hallsville High School Band students were in Honolulu for that celebration. They observed and learned about it in person. They were able to talk to veterans-survivors. This will be remembered by them the rest of their lives. But as we continue to lose World War II veterans, will this day fade away as have memories of World War I? Remember, at the time, it was said to be the war to end all wars.
Here in Texas very little is said about March 2, Texas Independence Day, March 6, the fall of the Alamo, and April 21, the date of victory at San Jacinto. I am not sure that much is said about this even in Deer Park, where this took place. We have just passed June 14, Flag Day. Generally not much is said of this date but I noticed that many flags were displayed and several East Texas towns had observances. Thank you.
All of this is to say that we, parents, schools and public officers must teach the history of these days and observe them. This is how we keep our heritage alive. If you are not well acquainted with any or all of these, it is your duty to learn about them. We seem to have lost our pride in our country — its strong points and its qualities. Throughout history countries that began to take their principles and heritage for granted soon lost them.
We must revive our pride in the principles on which America was founded. It is important that we do so and teach them to our younger generations. Then the sacrifices of D-Day, the bombing of Hiroshima, the day-to-day battles of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and all of the subsequent struggles will not have been in vain. One way to keep these ideals alive is by remembering these named dates and observing them.
God Bless America.