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December 7th
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"A day that will live in infamy" said President Roosevelt.

Do you remember the event to which he was referring? Not many people today do, and for people under the age of 40, the number who can tell me about Pearl Harbor--what year, what the significance of the event, what the circumstances--are very few indeed.

(Not to mention that not one of the under-40's knew what "infamy" means).

My father was in Pearl Harbor that day, on weekend leave. I was born shortly afterward.

An event that seemed like the end of the world for isolationist America, now rests as a simple paragraph in the history books.

The hysterical outrage and fear of people of Japanese heritage, so strong that it resulted in prison camps, now seems unimaginable.

And indeed the story of Japan goes to prove that a country once deemed an enemy need not remain so forever. We might also remember that a country once our friend, championed by us, might transmogrify into one opposed to us. Things change; people change; cultures and political views change.

So too with the events of 9/11. It is fresh in our hearts and memories. We burn with what we consider a forever hate and need for revenge. We shudder at the honor killings and heap opprobrium on Islam and Muslims.

Some day 9/11, too, will be just a footnote.

People and cultures and countries change. Movements die away, to be replaced by others. Nothing is forever; not even our hatreds; not even our loves. And, in the end, not even ourselves.

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