Tuesday morning (Dec. 8, 2020) arrived pleasantly enough. Both kiddos got up with ease and went off to school without a hitch.

While getting ready for school I happened to ask if any teachers brought up the 79th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor the previous day (Monday, Dec. 7). My son, an elementary schooler, said no. My daughter, a high schooler, echoed the same thing.

Both expressed disappointment about no mention at school. They hail from families with proud military service. They have a grandfather, great-grandfathers, a great-great grandfather, an aunt, uncle, great-uncle and several great-great uncles who served, including one who lost his life during the Korean War. They have heard the stories from their grandfather, me and their relatives. They have participated in Wreaths Across America, my daughter as a member of her middle school show choir when WAA stopped at the school and as a Girl Scout. We went as a family two years ago to the WAA ceremony at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and helped lay wreaths on graves, including on my grandparents’ grave.

WAA’s motto is “Remember. Honor. Teach.” Expanded, it emphasizes to “Remember our fallen U.S. veterans. Honor those who serve. Teach your children the value of freedom.”

Parents should teach their children to cherish the freedoms that they, as Americans, enjoy. Children should also learn of such events that changed our nation in school, particularly on the anniversaries on which they occurred. We need to remember and reflect, and never forget.

The anniversary of Pearl Harbor is observed annually in many places, including at the very location where the USS Arizona and other ships that fell to Japanese bombers rest under the sea. Few Pearl Harbor survivors remain. Of those who still live, they rank in their 90s or have reached centenarian status. They still tell their stories, including a 101-year-old sailor from California whose story appeared on the front page of Monday’s (Dec. 7. 2020) edition.

I shared some of the man’s story with my son, including the fact that the man was preparing to play a game of football when the attack happened at 7:48 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. He and shipmates on the USS Pennsylvania were set to square off with shipmates from the USS Arizona, which suffered the most casualties in the battle, according to The Associated Press.

My son found the story fascinating. He took the front section of the newspaper to school Tuesday to share the story with his social studies teacher. She found it interesting, while I felt a sense of pride in my son’s initiative to share the information with his teachers.