Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 7, 2011

December 7, 1941

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

December 7, 1941. “A date which will live in infamy,” declared President Franklin Roosevelt.

Seventy years later, Americans remember that day.  Perhaps each year there is less remembrance because the number of those who remember that terrible day dwindles because of age.  But we must never forget.

The Japanese attacked our U.S. Navy fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor.  All 8 of the Navy battleships were damaged, with 4 of them being sunk.  In addition, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, and 188 aircraft were destroyed or damaged.  But those are material things. The real cost was that  2,402 Americans were killed, with thousands being wounded.  No one expected this attack — and many families in America suffered tragically.  Full reports of deaths and injuries were not known for days.

The shock to the American people was beyond anything this nation had ever experienced.  This attack by the Japanese resulted in the United States entering into World War II.  The day following this attack, war was declared on Japan.

Not many who read this blog were alive on that fateful day.  But I remember!  Most world events do not get the attention of a 7 year old, but I remember!  Oh, I did not understand what had really happened in the world, but I knew it was a terrible day as I saw grief and fear resonate among people I knew.

The attack happened at 7:55 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  I know the time only by having read it, but I remember that day.  Even though I did not grasp the conversations, I knew something very terrible had occurred. I do not remember what was said in our family, but I am sure there was knowledge that many would be called upon to fight.

It would be only a short time before I began to understand war.  Fear plagued our town. Many feared that if the Japanese were capable of attacking Pearl Harbor, they might actually attack the American shores.  Air raid sirens were installed.  We would soon practice for possible attacks.  There would be men, my father being one, who were called upon to walk the streets during the practice times when the siren would sound.  These wardens would check to make sure all lights in every home were off.  We would get under the dining table until an all-clear was sounded. There was even the talk that planes would fly over and drop small bags of flour to show where bombs might have landed.  I only heard that — I never saw any actual fact.  But we lived in an area outside the big city.  And the larger cities would have been the first to be attacked.

Life changed.  Fathers, husband, and young men went off to war.  Mothers began to work in factories to supply the needs of war.  School children collected scrap metal.  Everyone was affected.  And it began on that infamous day, December 7, 1941.

War is a terrible thing.  Life was not intended to be lived in fighting and killing between nations.  We can sing, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men,” but singing it does not bring the result.  Until the Son of God rules in the heart of man, there will be war.  This is a good day to remember the horror of war and seek to bring resolution between nations through the spreading of the gospel of Christ.  God has called out men and women to go throughout the world with His message of peace.  Certainly, we can pray today for the penetrating of the gospel into every life throughout the world.

I don’t expect a peaceful world in my lifetime, but regardless of conflict among nations, I have a peace in my heart that can never be lost.  It is the peace that Jesus Christ has brought to me.  May it be so in every life!


Related blog.  My Family and World War II


1 Comment »

  1. Yes, I remember. My father was an air raid warden. I remember covering the windows with dark shades and then hudling around the radio in the dark ro hear the news. I remember buying ward bonds in school. I remember the rationing. And, yes, I remember Pearl Harbor.

    Comment by elaine — December 7, 2011 @ 7:45 am | Reply

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