2016 - 75 = 1941

Pearl Harbor, 75 years ago. Almost a lifetime.
My dad was at work that Sunday.  A former neighbor, Brooks Webster, was there - recently out of Bowdoin College.  My mom was teaching in Ludington, Michigan at the high school and my mother in law was bundled up in a house off the Hudson River north of the city.  Like the day Kennedy was shot or 9-11 for others, the precise moment and location - down to what you were doing and who said what - is carved in granite on the precursor to the Facebook "wall".

I asked Brooks about it once; you know. How was it?. Aside from a rather cold and sorrowful look his only comment was "it was far worse".  Never the "than what"...just worse.

My dad went into the service a short while thereafter making it across the South Pacific with two wounds and eventually to Japan for the first of the occupation. Mom taught and did factory work as did my mother in law.  Somehow I think it was worse for them - not in the life threatening sense like being in combat or for that matter with the risk of being shot or shot at, but waiting. Waiting for news.
We should have known of this potential.  We, quite frankly, sat around before this day as Japan and Germany were already knee deep in their killing machines.  We knew but didn't know or didn't want to.   There will be a fair amount of linkage today and the next days about ISIS being the same as Germany and Japan.  With communication being the way it is, you can drop a pin in Syria and we hear it here so why is this brutality not brought to life here as Pearl Harbor brought the first whiff of Japan in China (then 3 years + of ancient history), or with Stalingrad less than a year away, with Nazis just miles outside of Moscow and people in St. Petersburg eating bread made partially from sawdust, we had to know, collectively, as a nation, that there was no good going on but we didn't want to get involved. 
I think the lesson is we only set out to war after the attack and not before.  My point is that some announcements like Pearl Harbor or 9-11 come out of the blue.  There is an interruption and the news is dumped out. Momentous news that for a second freezes all your senses and observations, reducing them to dimensional picture that you just carry around in your "wall of life".