When dawn broke over the Island of Oahu, in Hawaii, on a typically peaceful Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, America was a country at peace with the world, and at peace with itself. But by the end of that day of infamy, America had been dramatically changed -- forever.
Before Japan's sudden sneak attack on the United States, the nation's focus was on the lingering effects of The Great Depression, and although other peoples around the globe were at war, foreign conflicts still seemed far, far away, and most Americans were in favor of, or content with, a policy of isolation.
Within a matter of hours, however, isolation had been removed for all time from the realm of possibility. Overnight, the United States was at war, and Americans were soon doing battle on three continents and the seven seas.
The end of World War II coincided with the beginning of the nuclear age and the cold war, and with them came the inescapable and lasting truth that what happens and matters abroad affects what happens and matters at home.
In today's world, there is no country that can be an island unto itself. Everything is global. December 7, 1941 is the day when that began.