By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
December 7, 2016
Franklin Delano Roosevelt forever marked today’s date in his speech before the U.S. Congress, saying, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
The United States Pacific fleet, moored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was the target of a surprise attack. When the buzz of Japanese planes overhead and their screeching from dive-bombing was over, 2400 Americans were dead, 1200 were wounded, 18 ships and more than 300 planes had been destroyed or seriously damaged.
Today many young people attend our public universities and colleges, only to emerge from some history class ashamed of their country. They have listened to a litany of accusations about the so-called evils of America and the argument that she is not an exceptional nation.
I would agree America is not without her faults, but she is still exceptional to any other culture in the history of the world. Pearl Harbor was just one attempt to diminish her exceptional role. America has been involved in 15 different foreign conflicts since its founding and never more than 50 years of peace with foreign powers.
I firmly believe there has always been an invisible force of evil, led by the Devil himself, behind the hostile visible powers so often bent on America’s destruction. The objective of the Evil One has always been to enslave the world. America’s primary purpose has always been to free it.
In an article titled, “Why Is America Exceptional?” Matthew Spaulding states the case well, arguing:
“Liberty does not belong only to the United States. The Declaration of Independence holds that all men everywhere are endowed with a right to liberty. That liberty is a permanent aspect of human nature everywhere is central to understanding America’s first principles.
“Nevertheless, the primary responsibility of the United States is to defend the freedom and well-being of the American people. To do this, the United States must apply America’s universal principles to the challenges this nation faces in the world.
“This is not easy. America has not always been successful. But because of the principles to which it is dedicated, the United States always strives to uphold its highest ideals. More than any other nation, it has a special responsibility to defend the cause of liberty at home and abroad.
“America is an exceptional nation, but not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty…Which is why friends of freedom the world over look to the United States not only as an ally against tyrants and despots but also as a powerful beacon to all those who strive to be free.”
After the planned attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who helped to orchestrate it, said, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and instilled in him a terrible resolve.”
Yamamoto was right. Roosevelt, while asking Congress for a declaration of War, also said in his speech that the American people would fight “in their righteous might,” and “win through to absolute victory.” And she did.
This nation, however, didn’t prevail against Japan simply because it sought revenge on its enemies. It overcame because the sacred fire of liberty burned within – a fire that must forever burn not just for Americans but everyone in every age.
This, I suggest is the greater meaning behind our remembrance of Pearl Harbor.