Casper suggested the setting was one aspect that was vastly different.
“Well, Pearl Harbor was of course not a sleepy place with the Navy and Marines, but there was no big hurry,” he said. “People got up, did their jobs, went home at night and played bridge or poker or whatever. Pearl Harbor was a beautiful station. A lot of the people that were shipped overseas in the Pacific would go through there.”
Although both attacks were unexpected, another key difference was the harbor’s status as a military target as opposed to the civilian target that was the World Trade Center. But both attacks were a shock to the nation and provoked widespread mourning, yet unity.
Casper said as the calendar turns to another Dec. 7, it is paramount that we all remember the soldiers there and in the ensuing war that gave their lives for freedom.
“The biggest thing we need to think of is the brave men that were forced into the service,” he said. “They had to change their mind from not wanting to go, to being in the military, where they made a lot of friends and went a lot of places they wouldn’t have gone.”
Casper has since visited the memorial at Pearl Harbor and has seen the U.S.S. Arizona where his cousins died first hand.
Casper also designed a Pearl Harbor memorial that sits outside the Palo Pinto County Courthouse.
As the greatest generation dwindles, it is ever important to remember the sacrifices made for freedom and the lives lost on that infamous day in Hawaii. Give thanks for the veterans in your life and those who have done so much for you without ever knowing your name.