Remembering Pearl Harbor: The Fight for Freedom Never Ends!
On this day 79 years ago, the United States of America was attacked by a foreign envader on US soils for the first time in a hundred years.
The attack on Pearl Harbor stands alone as the single deadliest American siege since the Revolutionary War and was only eclipsed by the terrorist attacks of September 1, 2011.
During the early hours on December 7, 1941, 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft launched from six discrete enemy aircraft carriers invaded the Island of O'ahu and procedeed to destroy an entire fleet of US Naval Ships and aircraft in and around Pearl Harbor Hawaii while killing 2,403 Americans and injuring more than a thousand others.
Of course we know what happened next. The Next Day, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared War on Japan.
"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
"With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”
A short three and a half years later, bombs were dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bringing and end to the US/Japan conflict and a merciful end to World War II.
As we take a moment, on this day, to reflect on those who served, fought and died for this country 79 years ago, I think it's important to remember that the fight for freedom never ends.
Ronald Reagan once famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Time and time again we've seen this theme throughout American history starting with the ulitmate fight for freedom that occurred during the Revolutionary War as we declared independence from King George III and Great Britain during the fateful founding of this country back in 1776.
In the early 1860's the fight continued not just to the freedom of some Americans, but for ALL Americans and was forever memorialized by the famous words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Now fast forward approximately 160 years and here we are again in another fight for freedom. However, this time, instead of a fight with guns, grenades and bombs, we are dealing with a war of words, misinformation, and fraud perhaps on a level we've never seen before.
So what are we to do?
Imagine if Paul Revere decided to not to ride to Lexington. Imagine if John Hancock, James Adams and Ben Franklin decided not to sign the Declaration of Independence? Imagine if George Washington refused to lead an army of men against the British.
Imagine if Frederick Douglass decided not to help slaves find their freedom. Imagine if Abraham Lincoln decided not to sign the Emancipation Proclamation?
Imagine if FDR decided not to take action against the Japanese Empire after Pearl Harbor was attacked?
Of couse, the answer is obvious. America as we know it would cease to exist.
In light of the fact that I just watched Braveheart with my family over the weekend, I leave you with this timeless message with proper credit to Mel Gibson for his role.
"I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen, here, in defiance of Tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?
[Shouts of denial from the crowd.] Soldier: "Fight? Against that? No!"
[Members of the Scottish army shout in agreement.] "We will run! And we will live."
William Wallace: "Aye. Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live...at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance – just one chance – to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives [With growing excitement] but they’ll never take our freedom!"
Meteorologist, Speaker, Talk Show Host, Blogger and American Patriot