December 7, 1941.
I’ve read about it in history books. I’ve seen it in movies. But it didn’t become real until I visited Pearl Harbor in person. I remember mom and dad talking about where they were when they heard about the attack. I remember hearing the shock in their voices and even feeling shock myself. I’ve heard the President’s speech that December 7, 1941 would be a “date which will live in infamy.”
He was right.
Despite the crowds that were visiting the memorial, the museums, the ships that day, I felt alone. The people rarely spoke, or spoke in subdued tones. Even children were quiet. Everyone felt the weight of history in that place. Crowding out reality, my thoughts drifted to what it must have been like that day when over 350 planes kept coming, shooting, bombing the U.S. Navy. I tried to understand why it had to happen.
And I cried.
I cried for those who died, for those who would grieve, and for those whose lives would never be the same.
I felt respect. Respect for the men and women who faced our enemies. For those who still do. I’m thankful for that generation of men and women who stood up to evil and made them back down. I’m thankful for the brave men and women who prepare even now should evil attack again.
Woven throughout my thoughts that day were the words from William Wordsworth in his poem, Lines Written in Early Spring:
“And much it grieved my heart to think what man has made of man.”
This is not the world that God created. Marred by sin, our history from the moment we ate of the forbidden fruit to today, we continue to see evil destroy our world. And sadly, we may fight the enemies that we can see, but we are ill-prepared to fight the enemy we cannot see.
I Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”