As more and more World War II veterans pass from this world into the pages of history, so does our firsthand connection to their personal accounts of otherwise far-removed historical events. This week marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, with only five survivors remaining to remind us of the profound impact of that sleepy Sunday morning on the island of Oahu.

A crash course in the importance of being alert and accountable

It’s a moment worth remembering…a crash course in the importance of being alert and accountable, because the world can change in a flash, just as it did for those stationed in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Without warning, an entire generation was jolted from classrooms and ball fields, paper routes and honeymoons to the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific Islands. In a moment, young and ill-prepared soldiers awakened to greater purpose and patriotism than most of us can begin to imagine, stirring the courage to overcome misgivings and insecurities to become more than most of them could begin to imagine. It was the coming of age for those we honor today as the greatest generation. Soon after the attack, in fact, it is rumored that the Japanese commanders feared they may have “awakened a sleeping giant.”

What can we learn from these last remaining few who know what it is to experience a monumental upheaval of the world as they knew it? In simple terms, don’t get caught asleep at the wheel. 2016 has been a year of upheaval for our world, our nation, and our company. We are growing dramatically, not just in numbers, but in the clients we serve and the ways we provide the solutions they need.

To be accountable is to prove that our word is our bond and that our actions are our responsibility

We say at Unbridled that to be accountable is to prove that our word is our bond and that our actions are our responsibility. The past year has given us a good lesson in this Way of Being. With growth comes the possibility of dropping a ball or two. Being accountable means we own it, pick it back up, and move forward with transparency to prove ourselves responsible to those who put their trust in us.

The sailors we honor this week learned a whole new level of what it meant to be accountable. It is, to some degree, why they continue to make it their mission to carry forth the wisdom gained from their experience. And with their passing, it is up to us to honor the significance of such history-making events and life-changing moments. Whether the scope is global or personal, it’s only by remembering that we preserve the full impact and valuable lessons they hold. And only by experiencing our own coming-of-age awakenings that we become accountable for protecting their legacies and leaving one of our own…worth remembering.

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