Today marks 70 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, labeled accurately at the time by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as, “A date that will live in infamy.” I’ve been around a while, but that one I had to discover from history books, rather than first hand.
My father was around at that time, though. Following the attack, like many other young men (and a few women), he enlisted. He joined the Navy as an aircraft mechanic, and was stationed at Pearl Harbor — thankfully, long after the attack.
After the War, he stayed in the aircraft/aerospace industry, working for Douglas Aircraft in the Los Angeles area. After 20 years there, he transferred to their operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base. A few years later he was laid off, a victim of a downturn in the industry at that time.
In search of work to support his family, he became an inspector for the County of San Luis Obispo on the Lopez project. The main facilities of the project were a large dam and reservoir and a surface water treatment plant — just three miles from our home. After construction, he became an Operator at the plant, and retired several years later as the plant superintendent.
My career began in 1972 at my Dad’s plant as a lab assistant. I was instantly convinced that I would make my career in the water industry. And I’m still at it to this day.
In a way, I can trace my own history to the attack on Pearl Harbor. That infamous date altered the lives of all Americans, and we still experience the consequences to this day.
Today, we say thanks to my Dad and all our veterans for the sacrifices they have made, and for the tremendous contributions they have made to our country and the world.