On Dec. 8, 70 years ago, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress asking to declare war on Japan.

On Dec. 8, 70 years ago, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress asking to declare war on Japan.

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked…,” he said. “As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory…”

Today, I often find myself in awe of the American people of that time. They were the parents of my generation, the ones we call the “greatest generation.” History shows us what they accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds. It is amazing by anyone’s standards.

Today, the flag of the United States of America should be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. For those flags that cannot be lowered, like those displayed at some homes, attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag.

Prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had not entered World War II even though some of those overrun European countries had sent pleas for help. One book I read said reports of unspeakable atrocities against Jews and others were simply unbelievable. Whether that is the reason or another, the U.S. held back until Dec. 8, 1941.

There are not many Pearl Harbor survivors remaining to tell their stories though innumerable accounts may be found in books and throughout the Internet world. Those who fought in that war, standing in the gap for others who couldn’t, are well advanced into their 80s and 90s and have earned their “greatest generation” label.

Happy birthday Wednesday to David Ball of Pottsboro; Ken Kelley, David Harbour, Beverly Morrison, Gloria Fay Lagway and Melissa McKee, all of Denison; Kathy Neal and her son, Tommy Neal of Sherman; Debbie Neely and Sue Ross, both of Whitesboro; Ty Fulmer of Ravenna; Harland Albert Stresing of Spartanburg, S.C.; Meredith Baur of Arlington; Amanda Orr of Pilot Point.

Happy anniversary Wednesday to Jerry and Tommie Bryson of Sherman, 60 years; Bill Massenburg Jr. and Susan Massenburg of Denison, 43 years.