PEARL HARBOR LESSONS

History is a valuable teacher when and if we choose to learn from it.

Twenty two days old Susie King’s father, Walter Willis King, went to war. Four years later Walt returned home alive but very ill. For 76 days Captain King lived in a fox hole on a tiny island off New Guinea. Their ship had been sunk.

Not too long ago, my wife Susie and I took the Pearl Harbor Tour for the first time. Imagine the mighty Arizona, 608 feet long, 106 feet wide and 34000 pounds of steel and iron. The Arizona could fire huge shells 20 miles with uncanny accuracy.

December 7, 1941 three words: Torah, Torah, Torah, were the green light to attack the USA. Over 300 Japanese airplanes swarmed over Pearl Harbor. 21 ships were sunk, 2390 were killed and that night Arizona sunk in 8 minutes instantly killing over 900 of our finest. The average age was 21 years old.

Each 30 minutes about 150 visitors board a Navy boat to go to the Arizona monument. Few people talk. It is a sobering experience. Hundreds of tourists from Japan visit the site. Respect for each other is awesome to behold.

These are a few of the lessons I want to hold dear to me in the days and years ahead.

Profound gratitude for men and women who  have served and now serve the USA. Our freedom is in their hands.

Another gratitude is grace and mercy: the USA helped rebuild Japan. We did not occupy them as Russia did. Today Japan is our dear friend.  We too can make former enemies friends.

So thankful we were able to defeat both Japan and Germany. This fact brings high hope to me as we face the evil enemies ever seeking to destroy America this very day. We have HOPE.  

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