Remember Pearl Harbor

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which took the lives of 2,300 Americans, destroyed 12 ships and 160 aircraft, and brought the nation into World War II.

See Pearl Harbor attacked: A witness remembers, 70 years later – The Washington Post.

Reflections, thoughts, and lessons learned?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Always be ready. Always be strong,

    For there will always be enemies.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Always be ready. Always be strong,

    For there will always be enemies.

  • helen

    Are we ready? Are we strong?

    We can’t tie our shoelaces without using an import from across the Pacific!

  • helen

    Are we ready? Are we strong?

    We can’t tie our shoelaces without using an import from across the Pacific!

  • Dennis Peskey

    Steve – the problem with “always be strong” was the very nature of Pearl Harbor. Out nation possessed a very strong naval defense, so much so that with Pearl guarding the Pacific entrance, we felt secure no enemy could approach our shores. What is very difficult to factor in strategic warfare planning is anything new and untried; carrier warfare was in it’s infancy when the Japanese choose to exploit this venue for success. Japan was in no condition to engage in a surface battleship slugfest with the US but she did prove the effectiveness of carrier warfare (wherein we returned the favor at Midway thereby stripping the imperial Japanese navy of any future realistic offense).
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Steve – the problem with “always be strong” was the very nature of Pearl Harbor. Out nation possessed a very strong naval defense, so much so that with Pearl guarding the Pacific entrance, we felt secure no enemy could approach our shores. What is very difficult to factor in strategic warfare planning is anything new and untried; carrier warfare was in it’s infancy when the Japanese choose to exploit this venue for success. Japan was in no condition to engage in a surface battleship slugfest with the US but she did prove the effectiveness of carrier warfare (wherein we returned the favor at Midway thereby stripping the imperial Japanese navy of any future realistic offense).
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • DonS

    The lesson: always be wary, and understand that diplomacy doesn’t always work. While I believe that we need to extract ourselves from many of our overseas adventures, and refuse to be drawn into future ones that don’t directly affect American interests, we do need to be aware that there are countries bearing ill will toward our country and its way of life, and prepare accordingly.

    Dennis — we weren’t strong militarily before WWII. We were coming out of the isolationist 30′s. Those battleships were mostly creaky old relics and they were positioned in a harbor ill suited for the purpose, largely because of political interference. We had also shifted far too many naval resources to the Atlantic for political reasons, despite the known threat from Japan. We had but four aircraft carriers in the entire Pacific — fortunately they weren’t in harbor on that day. We became strong during the war, because of the tremendous resolve of our free people and our matchless industrial capability, turned quickly to the task of manufacturing arms.

    This is a poignant anniversary, as it is probably the last major one where there will be a substantial number of survivors present. 120 of them will be gathered at Pearl later today — since they are mostly over 90 now, most will no doubt have passed away before the 75th anniversary rolls around.

    Remember Pearl Harbor!

  • DonS

    The lesson: always be wary, and understand that diplomacy doesn’t always work. While I believe that we need to extract ourselves from many of our overseas adventures, and refuse to be drawn into future ones that don’t directly affect American interests, we do need to be aware that there are countries bearing ill will toward our country and its way of life, and prepare accordingly.

    Dennis — we weren’t strong militarily before WWII. We were coming out of the isolationist 30′s. Those battleships were mostly creaky old relics and they were positioned in a harbor ill suited for the purpose, largely because of political interference. We had also shifted far too many naval resources to the Atlantic for political reasons, despite the known threat from Japan. We had but four aircraft carriers in the entire Pacific — fortunately they weren’t in harbor on that day. We became strong during the war, because of the tremendous resolve of our free people and our matchless industrial capability, turned quickly to the task of manufacturing arms.

    This is a poignant anniversary, as it is probably the last major one where there will be a substantial number of survivors present. 120 of them will be gathered at Pearl later today — since they are mostly over 90 now, most will no doubt have passed away before the 75th anniversary rolls around.

    Remember Pearl Harbor!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    FYI

    Until midnight tonight, you can search Ancestry.com for WWII records.

    http://www.ancestry.com/pearlharbor?o_iid=49210&o_lid=49210&o_sch=Web+Property

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    FYI

    Until midnight tonight, you can search Ancestry.com for WWII records.

    http://www.ancestry.com/pearlharbor?o_iid=49210&o_lid=49210&o_sch=Web+Property

  • SKPeterson

    On the one hand we have this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204903804577082441532803110.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    (Note: needs a subscription to view the full article). Suffice it to say the premise is that Iran and North Korea are obvious dangers and we need to take action.

    On the other hand, we have this, which would indicate that the course of action advocated in article one could actually precipitate the Pearl Harbor reprise warned against in the same article:

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/our-economic-past-how-us-economic-warfare-provoked-japans-attack-on-pearl-harbor/

  • SKPeterson

    On the one hand we have this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204903804577082441532803110.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    (Note: needs a subscription to view the full article). Suffice it to say the premise is that Iran and North Korea are obvious dangers and we need to take action.

    On the other hand, we have this, which would indicate that the course of action advocated in article one could actually precipitate the Pearl Harbor reprise warned against in the same article:

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/our-economic-past-how-us-economic-warfare-provoked-japans-attack-on-pearl-harbor/

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@6), apparently you didn’t get the memo. We were in no way culpable for Japan’s actions against us — or for any other nation’s actions, for that matter. We just do our thing. Japan attacked us for our freedom. Which they hated. That’s the take-away here. Other countries just can’t stand how awesome our freedom is, and they’ll get all upset about it and, ultimately, attack us. We should, therefore, figure out which countries are most freedom-hating and really try to stick it to them any way we can. Because we can … because we’re free to.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@6), apparently you didn’t get the memo. We were in no way culpable for Japan’s actions against us — or for any other nation’s actions, for that matter. We just do our thing. Japan attacked us for our freedom. Which they hated. That’s the take-away here. Other countries just can’t stand how awesome our freedom is, and they’ll get all upset about it and, ultimately, attack us. We should, therefore, figure out which countries are most freedom-hating and really try to stick it to them any way we can. Because we can … because we’re free to.

  • Carl Vehse

    Oh. And all along I though it was because on July 4, 1934, Leo Szilard had patented the atomic bomb, and in August, 1939, Szilard got Albert Einstein to write a letter convincing FDR to fund the Manhattan Project so Szilard could demonstrate his atomic bomb really worked. Much to his chagrin, Leo found out that FDR’s people had started a war with Japan so that, after the 1st test at Alamogordo, the U.S. would be able to demonstrate the 2nd and 3rd bombs over Hiroshima and Kyoto (it was cloudy on test day, so the demo was done over Nagasaki).

  • Carl Vehse

    Oh. And all along I though it was because on July 4, 1934, Leo Szilard had patented the atomic bomb, and in August, 1939, Szilard got Albert Einstein to write a letter convincing FDR to fund the Manhattan Project so Szilard could demonstrate his atomic bomb really worked. Much to his chagrin, Leo found out that FDR’s people had started a war with Japan so that, after the 1st test at Alamogordo, the U.S. would be able to demonstrate the 2nd and 3rd bombs over Hiroshima and Kyoto (it was cloudy on test day, so the demo was done over Nagasaki).

  • Pingback: Lutheran Witness remembers Pearl Harbor | Try 2 Focus

  • Pingback: Lutheran Witness remembers Pearl Harbor | Try 2 Focus

  • Bob

    Today after school a Japanese exchange student came in for help to prepare for the final next week. It occurred to me that my father who served in the Pacific in WWII and his first cousin (killed by a Japanese kamakaze pilot) were engaged in a war with this young girl’s grandparents or other ancestors. Today we sat down for a science lesson in peace. There is still too much conflict in the world but at the same time some peaceful moments to be thankful for.

  • Bob

    Today after school a Japanese exchange student came in for help to prepare for the final next week. It occurred to me that my father who served in the Pacific in WWII and his first cousin (killed by a Japanese kamakaze pilot) were engaged in a war with this young girl’s grandparents or other ancestors. Today we sat down for a science lesson in peace. There is still too much conflict in the world but at the same time some peaceful moments to be thankful for.

  • Jack

    What obligation does one, as a citizen of this country have to the country?

    There was once a day that one had a two year, active duty military obligation. Such obligation no longer exists.

    What obligation is one responsible to in payment for the freedoms that one has?

    Anyone?

  • Jack

    What obligation does one, as a citizen of this country have to the country?

    There was once a day that one had a two year, active duty military obligation. Such obligation no longer exists.

    What obligation is one responsible to in payment for the freedoms that one has?

    Anyone?

  • Grace

    Jack @ 10

    Most young men today want to make money, get a head start on their careers, they aren’t interested in the welfare of the United States. They certainly don’t have the respect for this country the way our parents did. You can see the effects all around us.

  • Grace

    Jack @ 10

    Most young men today want to make money, get a head start on their careers, they aren’t interested in the welfare of the United States. They certainly don’t have the respect for this country the way our parents did. You can see the effects all around us.


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