Today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, an event which changed the way America saw itself and galvanized this nation to enter the Atomic age. During the next four years, battles raged around the world, millions of people died, and the course of history was changed forever.
Prophetically, it was a Japanese Admiral who first sensed the paradigm shift he had unleashed.
"I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve"
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Empire of Japan
December 7th, 1941
We can remember Pearl Harbor as a day of infamy, or we can look at it as an object lesson of what happens when a nation becomes complacent and ignores what goes on beyond its borders.
We were forced into a horrific war which culminated in the unleashing the forces of Armageddon upon Japan. We later went on to rebuild the country that we destroyed and have established economic and cultural bonds that have enriched both nations.
America was changed by that event, but Japanese culture was changed almost beyond recognition. The point I am trying to make is that we need to remember our heroes and their sacrifices, but we should also recognize that our defense of liberty and the effort to spread freedom is the most important memorial of all.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, even though in good times
there are whole generations who cannot remember war and resent the
inconveniences that protect them from enjoying their carefree
lifestyle. Those who complain about the Patriot Act haven’t a clue how
it felt to be living in the US during the Second World War.
The events of 9/11 propelled us into a state of readiness and we
have engaged upon a mission, once again, to ensure freedom for our
nation and for others. It is not a war of conventional armies, but of
conflicting ideologies and the rules are still not clearly understood
by many of our citizens.
Some feel that our nation should remain remain passive and
conciliatory rather than reaching out and shedding blood, if necessary,
to ensure freedom. The extreme reasonableness of those who apologize
to terrorists was matched in the past by those who thought Hitler set
an admirable example to follow.
As in the past, battle lines are still being drawn. Those who
espouse peace at any price forget that millions of peaceful people were
easily loaded into railroad cars and thrown into ovens, without a hand
being raised to help them. Others are oblivious to the everyday actions
of terrorists, and natter about the government agencies that protect
them. They, like sheep, resent the dogs that keep them safe from
It is helpful on a day like this to visit the site Sleeping Giant
and read poetry dedicated to the events of September 11th, 2001 and to
the War on Terror. In my opinion, this excerpt summarizes the purpose
of the site:
And now we are at a great crossroads
in time. This has not happened, ever, in the history of the world, when
civilization has lost its place, and the weak seek to terrorize the
innocent. I hope that our nation rises from its sleep, and that we can,
as a people, remember what our fathers knew, what their fathers knew,
and what the young have never had to know.
bright spot in all this is that defending ourselves and forwarding the
cause of freedom, no matter how painful the process, has produced
periods of unprecedented peace and prosperity for much of the world.
I look forward to the time when the good people of Iraq can wipe out
the legacy of years of oppression and terror and can share the
treasures of their culture with the world.