It is Pearl Harbor Day. On a Sunday morning, 71 years ago, the world changed forever.
It is also the reason why I am on this planet. This event that took place 24 years before I was actually born, but it was the event which started a chain reaction that culminated in me. But for Pearl Harbor, my father would not have joined the United States Marine Corps. In turn, after his stint in the war, he was sent to his last duty station in California. There, he married his first wife, my older brothers were born and they later divorced. In the meantime, my mother emigrated to the U.S. from Canada, following her parents who already immigrated the previous year, 1960, specifically. My parents met and not long afterward I arrived.
I could also point out that my mother’s involvement as in coming to California had as much of a role in my existence. Well, it is true, since one needs both parties to exist, particularly since this was long before IVF. However, I digress. The reason my mother came to California from Canada was to follow her parents and younger siblings. The weather here was better for my grandfather’s health. He had been a flier for the Royal Canadian Air Force and was badly injured during the war. Same war, different theatre. He needed to be in a warmer climate than the damp cold of Canadian winters.
Given the addition of the latter scenario, I could also say that but for Germany invading Poland, I wouldn’t be here either.
Regardless of the reason(s) for my personal existence, I say “Thank you” to every single Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine who died on December 7, 1941. Thank you for defending my country and my way of life. And I wasn’t even a twinkle in my father’s eye yet.