“December 7th will live forever as a day of infamy.” President Roosevelt predicted before Congress in his declaration of war on Japan the attack after the attack.
Infamy in Thai is cheu sia and this year I asked several Thais about Pearl Harbor. My question stumped them all and I repeated the question to several British friends, “What does December 7th mean to you?”
“Is it your birthday?”
Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy has been losing its power to the more modern 9/11.
Even 9/11 meant little to Thais.
“9/11 New 7/11?” The corporation had announced a price increase on over 500 products.
“No. Not new 9/11.” I didn’t bother to explain about kreung-bins crashing into the World Trade Towers or Japanese planes sinking the US Fleet. It was all so long ago and so much has happened in the meanwhile like the Red Shirt rebellion and Britney Spears getting divorced from K-Fed.
Pearl Harbor Day was not my birthday, but it was for my younger brother Michael and it always felt funny celebrating December 7th with a cake and candles.
My baby brother Michael didn’t care. “Makes it easy for people to remember my birthday.”
12/7 will always be Michael Charlie Day for me.
My mother loved that movie too.
ps few young Americans know its meaning either.