There was a wall around the city. No one really knew when it was built, it just seemed to always be there. The citizens within the wall were from many countries, many religions, many races, and they all loved their city and didn’t want to leave it. Visitors came and went, apparently at ease, and without any visible restrictions to their travel. Life was good there. Clean air, plenty of food, incredible nightlife and daytime recreation abounded! The inhabitants were well protected, but at the same time, never felt intimidated by their armed protectors. Peaceful coexistence was the byword of the day in the city. Then, this beautiful, peacefulness was suddenly and painfully destroyed! All was chaos! Death, misery, and destruction were everywhere one looked. In what seemed like an instant, the world of this city’s citizens was turned upside down, never to return to the beauty and peace it had once enjoyed.
Invaders from another country breached the wall surrounding the city and brought with them hatred and death to the citizens. The invaders knew well in advance every weakness the city had. They knew when and where to attack. They arrived with overwhelming numbers and force. Information about how and where to attack came from people they inserted into the city, hidden as visiting tourists, local businessmen, even churchgoers! They blended in with the citizens and went completely unnoticed until it was too late. The invaders were skilled at subterfuge. Their lies were believed, and why not? After all, many of their nations were “peaceful, skilled, needed workers”!
The city finally awoke to the attack, but it suffered a great loss of life. Innocents died. Buildings were destroyed. Trust was broken and lost for many years.
The city is back to its old self now, peaceful and quiet, but it has lost its innocence. There are monuments to those lost. There is an ever-present awareness of just how vulnerable it is, despite its great wall. The wall has had armed guards on it ever since the attack. The citizens are more alert to “clear and present dangers”. Neighbors talk to each other out of both friendship and, informed safety. Very little of the destruction is visible anymore, but if one wants to look, one can find a bit here and there.
The city is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack occurred on December 7, 1941. “A day which will live in Infamy!