In the early years of the 1940s, the U.S.A. was not the sprawling giant that it is today. The country was greatly weakened by the lean years of the Great Depression and President Roosevelt was resisting British pressure to join the fight against Hitler and the German Third Reich. In addition to the rising threat in Europe, the Japanese were waging war against China and threatening to disrupt the entire Southeast Asia area.
In 1939, President Roosevelt moved a large portion of the U.S. Naval Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a deterrent against Japanese aggression although most U.S. officials believed that the Japanese would attack the Philippines or other SE Asia countries rather than the U.S. However, in the bright morning light of December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Within only a few hours, five out of eight battleships were sunk or sinking, with many other ships damaged and most of the aircraft destroyed. Over 2,400 Americans died as a result of the Pearl Harbor attack.
This attack mobilized American public opinion to join WWII and to defeat both the Germans and the Japanese in their bids to dominate the world. Although the Great War was long and hard, the U.S. prevailed against its enemies. The enemies in today’s war against terrorism are much more diverse and much harder to defeat because the war is global and the terrorists’ goal is to annihilate the western nations, not just to dominate them.
So, during this season of giving, take a moment to give thanks for the bravery and determination of our forefathers to live free from tyranny, and also, say a prayer for the modern-day Patriots who serve in America’s Armed Forces around the world to protect our hard-won freedoms. For God & Country!