Today is the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, December 7, 1941. Not so long ago, children...but what a leap through time since then. I could list all of the technological and a lot of the cultural changes, but there are other places to go for that...and go you should, to remind yourself of the world we all live in, what is guiding your own boat?
I met a man and his wife who were at Pearl Harbor that day. He was a general, she was 'the general's wife' as things were said in those days. He was called in and she didn't see him for days and nights, huddled with other wives and children in hopefully safe places. When I met them, they lived on the end of a cul-de-sac on a canal that went to the sea. From their pool deck I could see roseate spoonbills and flamingos. I could fish and go clamming. I could float around in their pool while the general made me gimlets and played with my children. There was a great blue heron that flew in every day to be fed by the general. He called her Princess. Wild parrots also had a feeding station and came in as faithfully as cocktail hour.
Pearl Harbor and the general stay mixed up in my mind because I was scared to meet him and I'm scared of war. I was afraid my fairly deep mistrust of things political and military would not truly let me know him. But when I walked in and, sitting in a chair with his feet on a hassock, he had a cockatoo [edit: cockatiel, not cockatoo...what do I know about birds?] on his toe named Sugar...I met the man, not the title. His stories were hard...and yet, he hadn't let himself become as harsh as their reality.
That was over 20 years ago, when Pearl Harbor was even less distant. Listen to the stories still being told by people who were there. One day, it will only be digital bits and specks across the universe...another day that changed the world.