This week marks the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the battle between June 4 through 7 that most historians agree turned the tide in favor of the United States in the war against the Empire of Japan. Four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk during the battle that concluded when the USS Yorktown, CV-5, sank on June 7.
The American victory was due in a large part to the efforts of naval intelligence officers who laboriously broke the Japanese code. They performed the remarkable by unscrambling a code of more than 42,000 characters using pencils, papers, their minds and intuitions.
June 6 will mark the the 75th anniversary of one of the greatest military undertakings in history. D-Day, June 6, 1944, marked the day American and Allied forces invaded France beginning the final push to free the world from the clutches of Nazi Germany. The invasion created a two-front war for the Nazi forces, one that would end with an Allied victory less than a year later.
American and Allied forces suffered almost 10,000 casualties during the operation.
We would wager that few people take the time to remember either of these events that proved so crucial in preserving the freedoms we enjoy today.
Certainly events that happened a lifetime ago should be remembered, if nothing more than from a historical perspective.
But events where America sacrificed its blood and treasure to protect and preserve freedom should be honored and cherished. It is easy for us to forget, but if we fail to remember the lessons we’ve learned in the past, we risk repeating the mistakes that led to those hard-learned lessons.
Perhaps we should not hope that everyone remember events, especially seminal ones like the Battle of Midway, that shaped our history. But we certainly hope everyone has the opportunity to be aware of them, what they meant when they occurred, and how they affect our lives today.