Remembering Pearl Harbor

By Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott
Attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941
December 7, 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Empire of Japan. This day marked the entry of the United States into World War II and changed the course of history of the world.

Over four years, 1941-1945, 16 million Americans served in the US armed forces, with 416,800 paying the ultimate price. Defeating the Axis powers in Europe, total victory was achieved as the war ended with surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri where the Japanese government signed a treaty to end the war.

These service men and women came home and resumed their lives, raised a families and became active in their communities, including many who joined the Masonic fraternity in record numbers.

Today, the veterans who served in this war are quickly passing away and a few of them will gather one more time at Pearl Harbor to remember their fallen comrades. The years may go by, but the pain suffered by many is still very real.

Pearl Harbor Survivor Remembers Fallen Colleagues
It’s impossible to fully thank these Veterans for their service and sacrifice, but the herculean task they performed to save the world will never be forgotten. 

Tom Brokaw in his book The Greatest Generation ended when he said, “After talking to so many of them and reflecting on what they have meant in my own life, I now know that it is in those small ceremonies and quiet moments that this generation is appropriately honored. No fanfare is required. They’ve had their parades. They’ve heard the speeches. They know what they have accomplished, and they are proud. They will have their World War II memorial and their place in the ledgers of history, but no block of marble or elaborate edifice can equal their lives of sacrifice and achievement, duty and honor, as monuments to their time.

As you go about your day, take a few minutes to think of their sacrifice and the freedom they have ensured for all of us.

Thank you.

WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.   He serves as Sovereign Master of Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 of the Allied Masonic Degrees and is a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.  Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is very involved with the Boy Scouts of America and is himself an Eagle Scout.  He is Assistant Dean of the University of Illinois Library.  You can contact him at  

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