Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My great uncle Al was in the harbor during the attack and survived. Most of his shipmates and friends died that day. He went on to serve on another battleship (the name of which escapes me but he eloquently called it “A goddamn tin can”), fought at Guadalcanal and witnessed the famous/bogus flag raising at Iwo Jima. Uncle Al never gave me lectures on freedom nor filled my head with idealistic notions of patriotism. The only advice he ever offered me was to appreciate every day and maintain a good sense of humor. Sound advice from a man with a half-naked hula girl tattooed on his forearm.