5 Life Lessons from Pearl Harbor

Contributor: Brandie Blankenship

History.  History, in my opinion is the most important subject you can learn. Yes, math and reading are important but history teaches you life lessons. I am sure most of you have heard if you aren’t careful history will repeat itself. In other words, learn your lesson and do not forget it.  I had a teacher in high school who was the best history teacher you could have. You could tell he was passionate about it and he really wanted you to understand the importance of history. I remember he had us memorize quotes from important people in America’s history and we were quizzed on them. At the time, I was not excited to do this because he had a list of about 20 quotes. However, I still remember a lot of them even to this day and who they were quoted by. These quotes taught us practical life lessons and gave us a peak into the past. For example, one was from FDR: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Just in this one quote we can learn so much. Did you know that FDR said this in reference to the Great Depression and the people’s fear of spending because of the times they were going through. It was paralyzing the people, and ultimately the nation.  FDR goes on to say that even in those times, we should focus on the positive and be thankful for what we do have and rely on each other. Even without knowing the context, it teaches us that fear is a blockade that gets in the way of you reaching your goal and advancing. You must overcome it.

As you know FDR was President when Pearl Harbor struck in 1941. Today is the 75 anniversary of Pearl Harbor and it brings back a lot of memories for some. This day marks a very important day in our history when there were many American lives taken by a surprise attack. There were 2403 Americans killed and 1178 wounded. Can you imagine the chaos and how you would handle this situation especially in a time when they didn’t have the technology we have today? We can learn a lot from Pearl Harbor that can be applied to our lives.

Life Lesson #1: Work together for the better of the people.

When tragedy struck everyone pulled together to help each other: nurses, comrades, etc. to save their fellow mate. Working as a team will get you farther than trying to do everything yourself.

Life Lesson #2: A leader stands up for what is right and defends his/her people.

FDR saw the threat and immediately took action. He protected his country--- his people.

Life Lesson #3: Remain calm.

It is said that FDR remained “deadly calm” despite the chaos. You never know what life is going to throw your way but freaking out will only cause you more stress and halt your ability to come up with a plan.

Life Lesson #4: Come up with a strategy and delegate.

On that day he got advice and support from the military advisory, his son (who handle the media) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The next day he brought a declaration of war to Congress in which the Senate unanimously approved while the House of Representatives vote was 388 to 1 all within one hour.

Life Lesson #5: Remember the past.

The past is what shapes you, or what has shaped our country. We learn from our successes and our failures and work to improve. Many lives were lost for every freedom you have today and the security of this country.  Let’s honor those who defended your rights and your protection.