A Rallying Cry for Freedom

A Rallying Cry for Freedom

“A day that will live in infamy,” President Roosevelt said of December 7, 1941. And, indeed, it will. A surprise attack by Japanese aircraft against the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor triggered the United States’ entrance into World War II. 

As I watch old film clips and read first-hand accounts, I imagine the shock of the American sailors aboard ships anchored in the harbor as Japanese planes appeared in the sky and came at them.  I see them running to their places to grab artillery and defend their ships. I read of their courage, the individual heroism of the men. Many of them never left their ships. They are still there, beneath the waters. Pearl Harbor has become their monument.

We have changed a lot since those days. Patriotism is often scoffed at. Wealthy athletes who have never worn the uniform of their country and never, ever faced death coming at them from the sky or the sea, disrespect the flag that represents the freedom they enjoy, freedom bought with the blood and shattered lives of men who stood between the enemy and the country which has afforded them a luxurious lifestyle. 

The roar of aircraft, the sound of artillery, the shouts and screams are gone now. The water which once ran red with blood is peaceful again. The sky is clear of enemy planes. But once, seventy-seven years ago, many brave men fought and suffered and died. Let’s stop for a moment and listen and remember and thank God for our country and for the lives of those sailors and for those who, then and now, dare to face death for their families, the cherished ideals on which this Nation was built, for freedom.

Yes, it was a day that will live in infamy, but also a day when deceit and treachery came up against indomitable spirit. The treacherous blow that was meant to bring us to our knees became, instead, a battle cry for freedom.

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