President Roosevelt was right to call it “a date that will live in infamy.” But for my fellow survivors and me, it also is alive in memory, like shrapnel left embedded in our brains because the surgeon thought it too dangerous to operate.
Those images remain with us survivors seventy-five years later. Sometimes they intrude into our day, a moment spontaneously combusting, and suddenly we are back in the flames that engulfed our ship or in the oil-slick waters that surrounded it.
Sometimes they come to us in the night, a haunt of images that troubles our sleep. Or perhaps the phone rings, and we flinch. Or a car backfires, and instinctively we duck.
These memories lie within me, forever still and silent, like the men entombed in the Arizona. Others, like the oil that seeps from its wreckage, slip around inside me until they find a way out and make their way to the surface, where they pool and sometimes catch fire.
Over the years, many of us made the pilgrimage back to that harbor, where we have experienced both the soothing of those wounds, and, at the same time, a reopening of them.
Have some been healed? Yes. Year by merciful year. But all? No. And that is true for so many who have survived trauma, not just those who have survived the horror of war.
Today is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor (is that possible???) that drew the United States into the great conflagration known as World War II. Ask anyone who was living that day and they can tell you exactly where they were. It was an act of treachery and it proved to be foolishly short-sighted and ultimately fatal for the Japanese militarists. It was that generation’s 9/11.
Sadly the generation of Pearl Harbor is rapidly fading away. But its lessons remain and remind us that we must constantly be on guard as a nation because there are those out there who hate us and want to destroy us and end our way of life.
From the History Channel:
At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.
Today marks the 74th anniversary of Victory Over Japan (V-J) Day and the end of World War II (the formal, unconditional surrender was not signed until September 1, 1945). Stop and remember the brave men and women who fought against the evil of Nazism and Japanese militarism in the 1940s.
Remember too our brave soldiers today who are fighting against another form of evil and keep our soldiers in your prayers.
My fellow Americans, and the Supreme Allied Commander, General MacArthur, in Tokyo Bay:
The thoughts and hopes of all America–indeed of all the civilized world–are centered tonight on the battleship Missouri. There on that small piece of American soil anchored in Tokyo Harbor the Japanese have just officially laid down their arms. They have signed terms of unconditional surrender.
Four years ago, the thoughts and fears of the whole civilized world were centered on another piece of American soil–Pearl Harbor. The mighty threat to civilization which began there is now laid at rest. It was a long road to Tokyo–and a bloody one.
We shall not forget Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese militarists will not forget the U.S.S. Missouri.
The evil done by the Japanese war lords can never be repaired or forgotten. But their power to destroy and kill has been taken from them. Their armies and what is left of their Navy are now impotent.
Today marks the 74th anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, in which the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany the day before. Take a moment today and thank God for bringing us victory over evil. Remember the brave men and women who fought against Nazism. If you know a veteran who is still alive, take time today and thank him (or her) for his service to our country. Ask that person to tell you his story and remember it so that you can pass it on to your children and others. Nazi Germany may be a thing of the past, but unspeakable evil certainly is not. #VEDay74
Today is George Washington’s birthday. He would be 287 years old! To our great detriment, Americans are forgetting about our first president. This is sad, in part, because without him, there would not likely be the USA that we know today. Do yourself a favor and learn about this extraordinary man with whom God blessed this country.
To the world’s amazement, Washington had prevailed over the more numerous, better supplied, and fully trained British army, mainly because he was more flexible than his opponents. He learned that it was more important to keep his army intact and to win an occasional victory to rally public support than it was to hold American cities or defeat the British army in an open field. Over the last 200 years revolutionary leaders in every part of the world have employed this insight, but never with a result as startling as Washington’s victory over the British.
On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself before Congress in Annapolis, Maryland, and resigned his commission. Like Cincinnatus, the hero of Classical antiquity whose conduct he most admired, Washington had the wisdom to give up power when he could have been easily become dictator. He left Annapolis and went home to Mount Vernon with the fixed intention of never again serving in public life. This one act, without precedent in modern history, made him an international hero.
In the years after the Revolutionary War, Washington devoted most of his time to rebuilding Mount Vernon, which had suffered in his absence. He experimented with new crops and fertilizers and bred some of the finest mules in the nation. He also served as president of the Potomac Company, which worked to improve the navigation of the river in order to make it easier for upstream farmers to get their produce to market.
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, in which the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany the day before. Take a moment today and thank God for bringing us victory over evil. Remember the brave men and women who fought against Nazism. If you know a veteran who is still alive, take time today and thank him (or her) for his service to our country. Ask that person to tell you his story and remember it so that you can pass it on to your children and others. Nazi Germany may be a thing of the past, but unspeakable evil certainly is not. #VEDay73
For those of you who might not have heard, two Westerville police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty today. If memory serves me right, Officer Morelli was a presenter at an active shooter seminar that a friend of mine and I attended in Westerville a couple of years ago. He seemed like a terrific guy. I am sure Officer Joering was also a terrific man and I am heart-sick over this senseless tragedy. How anyone can apparently lie in wait to ambush another human being is beyond me.
Living in a sin-sick world, events like this are as inevitable as they are heartbreaking and tragic. That is why the Christian hope of resurrection is so important, because only then will God’s perfect justice be finally fulfilled. I am not talking about justice for the murderer, although there will be that too barring sincere repentance on his part. I am talking about justice for the murdered officers. On the day of Christ’s return, they will be raised to new bodily life and real justice with all its attendant gladness and joy will be served because they will be fully and forever alive again, thanks be to God. This is all made possible because of what God did for us on the cross of Christ. Resurrection hope is a hope worth hanging onto. If you have it, grieve as one with real hope.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on them. May they rest in peace and RISE IN GLORY. AMEN.
In the meantime may God have mercy on us and bring us real comfort in the midst of our grief.
I don’t always agree with the good Father, but in this case he gets it exactly right. This nonsense has to stop, irrespective of political/philosophical leanings.
Anybody who reads this blog knows I am not a fan of Donald Trump, but the “beheading” stunt of Kathy Griffin was not only outrageous and offensive, but it was simply overwhelmingly stupid and crass.
Here are ten things Griffin might have considered before she took part in such an idiotic enterprise:
By Joking About Violence You Validate It – when you make jokes about something serious. What would happen, for example, if someone were to joke about a black man being lynched? You assume the joker is okay with black people being lynched. Putting aside the fact of Trump being a duly elected president, simply joking about be heading says you think its not really a big deal. That’s dumb.
Some much needed commentary on the growing problem of militant Islam in England. See what you think.
Where is the evidence that our society is capable of exercising reason in the face of these twin dogmatic fundamentalisms of political progressive propagandising and Islamic threat?
Emotion is calling out in the streets and on the internet in its apoplectic misery that our governing classes are more concerned to protect the hurt feelings caused by so-called Islamophobia, than protect our children from Rochdale rape gangs and Manchester bombers.
Reason asks if there is even such a thing as Islamophobia. Reason says that it is reasonable to be afraid of people committed to an ideology that uses violence and assassination against its enemies without theological or cultural constraint. Only the dogmatism of pseudo-therapy links this reasonable apprehension with a mental anxiety that is unreasonable of a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) or fear of being shut in small spaces (claustrophobia). If reason had any power in our society, Islamophobia, in its strict and etymological sense, would be a sign of sanity, not criminal intent.
Allied to a real anxiety, or even phobia, that Islam and the koranic practice of Islam means us harm and threatens our democracy and freedom of speech with the horror that progressive political dogmas of tolerance and inclusion have invented and legislated for double-speak that silences not only what we say but what we are deemed to think, we have the growing apprehension that our culture has lost its reason; or if not lost its reason and gone mad (though it might have) has lost its capacity for reason.
…Many of us believe that only full-bloodied Christianity has the passion, the moral force, the transformative power and the vision to counter the determination and inexorable forward march through Europe of Islam. Islam was once held off at the gates of Tours in the west and Vienna in the east, and it was held off by force. Since military force appears to be currently unimaginable, spiritual muscle, which is always morally and metaphysically preferable to military force, is the only other option.
Unless there is a better diagnosis of how the terror and inexorability of Islam can be countered in England, then let the Christians rediscover the confidence, and take their faith, their love and their voices into the public square, unashamed of either the mockery of the secularists, or the threat of the Islamists. Nothing in history has been able to halt the grim shadow of ‘the prophet’ across the face of human history except for the Risen Christ, who brings trust in the place of terror, forgiveness in the face of fanaticism, and culture and experience of life in the face of a culture and experience of death.
Oh boy. I think we better send this guy over to Pennsylvania.
MARION, Ohio – Pennsylvania has Punxsutawney Phil, Ohio has Buckeye Chuck, and both groundhogs this year predict six more weeks of winter.
Officials in Marion say Buckeye Chuck reportedly saw his shadow Thursday morning in the central Ohio city. Legend holds that winter will last another six weeks if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will come early.
This is the second consecutive year that the state’s official groundhog has seen his shadow.
Punxsutawney Phil also called for six more weeks of cold weather on Thursday.