Seventy years ago today, at 7:55AM Hawaii time, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii. The lost to the U.S. was horrific. Eight battleships were damaged, four being sunk. The attack sank or damaged three cruisers and destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one mine layer. The U.S. lost 188 aircraft and 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station and other base functions were destroyed or damaged.
The following day President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his now famous “Day of Infamy” speech. While historians and pundits will speculate and argue as to what FDR knew before the attack, the fact is the United States was attacked by another country, and the loss of life and property was extensive. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into direct action during World War II, and ultimately led to the dropping of two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945.
There will be a memorial ceremony at Pearl today, and 120 survivors of the attack are scheduled to attend. The attack shook the country to its foundations. It was rightly viewed as an act of war, and all the resources, energies and thoughts were focused on defeating the enemy.
Sixty years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor another attack took place on American soil. This time it was September 11, 2001. On that horrific day two jet liners were flown into the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan, another into the Pentagon and a fourth was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The loss of life that day was 2,977. The Towers fell and the Pentagon sustained substantial damage.
The attackers on 9/11 were not from a specific country, but rather from a specific ideology. The 9/11 attacks launched the U.S. into a global war on terrorism. A war that has now gone on for ten years. And, again historians and pundits will argue and debate what the White House knew before 9/11, and whether the war on terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made us, as a country, safer.
In 1941 the American people had the courage to fight a war against an enemy that sought world domination. It was a war we won. We and our allies won because we had the leadership to make the hard decisions that needed to be made. We won because we had men such as Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill standing up and saying that we will not be dominated and ruled by men who were barbarians.
Today we are at war with a different kind of enemy. An enemy that uses the young, an enemy that uses women, an enemy that knows no bounds. Many Western apologists speak of Islam as a religion of peace, and yet the history, the true history of Islam, is one of violence, conquest, and subjugation. Are we at war with a religion or are we at war with an ideology that is based on world conquest?
Seventy years ago we entered into a war to stop the conquest of the world by the Third Reich and Imperial Japan. Ten years ago we entered into a war against “terrorism” but the truth is we are at war with another enemy that is bent on world domination. My only hope is that we have leaders today that have the backbone of FDR, Truman and Churchill, unfortunately I haven’t seen that backbone.
War is HELL. And no one in their right mind wants war. But sometimes it is a necessary evil, and if you are going to fight, you fight to win. Today we sit on the cusp of history. Do we stand, as we did in 1941, and say no to a world dominated by madmen and barbarians or do we try and appease those seeking to destroy Western culture and civilization?
As we remember the events of 70 years ago, let’s not forget the sacrifices made by the men and women at Pearl. Let’s not forget the sacrifices made by all the men and women that fought against a system that sought world domination in the 1940’s. And let’s look at our own time and remember that there is another enemy at the gate, one that is based on an ideology of world dominance.