, Muskogee, OK

December 6, 2012

Remember day the world changed

— “A date which will live in infamy.”

That is what President Franklin Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japanese forces attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, killing more than 2,300 Americans.

And so it is. It is also the day the United States changed forever.

On Dec. 6, the U.S. was focused on lingering economic problems, content to let the rest of the world sort out the atrocities happening in Europe and Asia.

After Pearl Harbor, the nation was deeply involved in the fate of the world and has been ever since.

On Dec. 6, women mostly worked at home taking care of their families.

The nation’s entry into World War II sent men into military service and women into the workforce.

Women had never before worked outside the home in the numbers they did during the war, according to the National Archives.

After the war, many women left their jobs. But the shift that began then led to the broad acceptance of women in the labor force.

On Dec. 6, an atomic bomb was unheard of.

After the war, the nuclear age was here and the stage set for the Cold War.

“Remember Pearl Harbor” was a call to arms during the war. It bolstered the nation’s will, renewed its outrage through the grueling years of sacrifice and death during the war.

We should remember Pearl Harbor.

We should remember the sacrifice of those who died. We should honor the brave response of our nation.

We should also remember it as the day our nation – and the world – changed forever.