A Date Which Will Live In Infamy…

Paul Hebert in the news, Paul Hebert

It is always a challenge for me to write some pithy post about HR and its adjacent issues when the post falls on a pretty historic day. 9-11 is one of those days. And in that vein so is today.

December 7, 1941.

The day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

That event changed so many lives. It was a prime mover in why the US engaged in WWII, having resisted direct conflict up until that time. The attack occurred at 7:55 am (Hawaii time – 12:55 pm ET) and lasted only 110 minutes.

Within 1 day the US was at war with Japan and within 4 days we were at war with Germany and a full participant in WWII. 2,343 men were killed, 1,272 were wounded and 960 left missing during the attack. More than half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona – 1,177 crewmen killed. Above the resting place of the USS Arizona is a memorial Elvis Presley helped pay to build with a concert after his two tours of duty. The sunken ship still leaks oily tears into the bay today.

110 Minutes Changed So Much

I know it is cliché to say little things mean a lot but the ramifications of those 110 minutes on December 7, 1941 are still felt today.

I would ask though as you go about your day to remember the sacrifice of those Americans. I would ask that you take a few minutes to contemplate how 110 minutes can still affect a country almost 80 years later. I would ask that you think about how decisions you make today can have a wide-ranging impact and effect. Even small decisions are important.

I don’t believe events like Pearl Harbor should ever fade from our memory. I think they serve to punctuate our history and provide touchpoints for contemplation. Depending on where you are today at 7:55 am Hawaiian Time (ET-12:55pm, CT 11:55am, MT 10:55am, PT 9:55 am) take a minute and just remember.

That’s it. No HR lesson. No thought leadership. Just a reminder.