I think most people my age and older, and perhaps down to ten years or so younger, immediately associate the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with this date. Those who actually remember the day, and the ensuing war, are growing fewer and fewer. Those of us born within the following ten years or so grew up accustomed to having the date noted prominently every year, because the war was very much a living memory to our parents. And so we still notice it, though it doesn't mean to us quite what it meant to those who lived through it. I doubt that people under forty are nearly as conscious of it. In another thirty years or so, perhaps, or a little longer, when even the children of the veterans are gone, it will begin to be simply a date in history which has little or no personal significance to the living.
It has seemed to me that the general observance has been diminishing for some time now, but today it seems to be prominent. It was on the front page of the newspaper, and on both the Fox and CNN web sites. I wonder if that reflects an awareness that the memory is beginning to fade, and a sense that it shouldn't. But of course it must and inevitably will.