Can it really have been 70 years since Imperial Japan attacked the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, drawing the United States into World War II -- the horrors from which our nation and its Allies would not emerge victorious until August 1945?
Seven decades have elapsed since the fateful morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan attacked the United States.
Although hostilities were already raging in Europe and Asia, the United States was not in World War II -- nor prepared to be.
But the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor justifiably stirred the wrath of the American people, and thrust the United States into the conflict.
There were many painful U.S. defeats in battle, and it was uncertain, especially in the early going, whether the Allies would defeat Japan, Germany and Italy -- and the vicious threat to humanity that they represented. France had collapsed, and Britain was in grave peril.
But slowly, the tide turned. The Allies began notching victories.
Finally, in May 1945, victory in Europe came.
But it took the dropping of U.S. atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan's surrender in August 1945 -- saving the United States from having to launch a full-scale invasion of Japan that surely would have killed vast numbers of troops and civilians.
What a difference 70 years make! Today, we are glad to count a peaceful Japan among America's close allies and trading partners.
And we hope and pray never again to experience anything like the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor -- nor another global conflict such as World War II!