Archive for the ‘Pearl Harbor’ Category

We are fast approaching December 7th, and the 78th anniversary of what has been known as “The Day of Infamy.  Although I was only 8 years old on that historic Sunday, I recall it as if it happened recently.  Yes, the radio broadcast, and my Mother’s thoughtful explanation of a violent event to a clueless, sheltered kid.

That Sunday was not anything like most Sundays in our home.  No family games.  No losing myself in my favorite radio broadcast, highlighted each week by the spooky words:, “The Shadow Knows” . . . followed by an ominous cackle, courtesy of The Shadow (Lamont Cranston, who had the ability to make himself invisible due to a secret he’d learned “years ago in the Orient”).

Beyond the horrendous news and my wise Mother’s explanation, what is vividly ensconced in my mental hard drive is the night of Pearl Harbor Day.  My Dad was out of town on business, so Mom drove my 16 year old sister and me to a concert at Lawrence College (now Lawrence University) in Appleton, Wisconsin–about 27 miles from home.

In concert that evening was the beautiful Afro-American contralto, Marion Anderson (1897-1993).  If you are not familiar with Marion Anderson, you can GOOGLE her name, and see for yourself (as well as hear on a U-tube) what a privilege it was to attend her concert.  As if her rich contralto and winsome personality were not enough to snow an audience on December 7th, 1941, Marion ended her program with GOD BLESS AMERICA–so timely as to dissolve her listeners to tears.  For years following that concert, my Mother described it with the words:  “There was not a dry eye in the auditorium!”

On the drive home late that evening, I experienced what may have been angelic intervention–or at least a miracle!  A wet snow (Wisconsin style) had begun while we were attending the concert.  Roads were slick on a just-below-freezing night.  My Mother (very carefully, I’m sure) drove over a small bridge above a culvert, on a slight uphill stretch of the highway.  There were guardrails on each side of the road, and I recall our car spinning, hitting the guardrail on our side of the road, lurching forward past the guardrail, and falling off the road (car on its side) onto the ground beyond the culvert.

I do not recall getting out of the car; we obviously must have had help getting out and home.  But I clearly recall that the three of us were totally unharmed–no bruises, no bumps, no anything, except that my sister’s silk stockings were snagged and running.  Even more wonderful was the fact that my Mom had the presence of mind to turn off the ignition as we careened off the road–thus quite possibly preventing the implicit tragedy of a flaming vehicle containing 3 people.  Not only had Mom turned off the ignition, she had wrenched that key so hard that she broke it in 2 pieces: one piece was stuck in the ignition, and the other was found in our car.  (My Mother was a quiet woman–quiet and strong!)

Where in the world am I going with this?  Simply to emphasize that along with remembering our brave Americans who fought (and are fighting) for our nation (then as well as before and since), the concert and my mother’s fortitude are the main details I want to recall of December 7th, 1941.  I no longer want to look at pictures of our U.S. Navy bursting into flames, or post some of the photos on this blog (as I did a few years ago).  I no longer want to read about the action, blow by blow, as I have so often over the years in WW2 documentaries and fiction.

Every nation on earth is composed of fallen humans.  As in the case of us humans, there is no nation without sin–no not one.  My age propels me forward rather than back.  I may be closer in forward years to that joyous time of the peaceful 1000 year earthly reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, than I am in retro years, to “The Day of Infamy”.

“Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and pray before the LORD.  Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ‘ ” Zechariah 9:22-23*                 

Margaret L. Been — November 9, 2019

*Note that Scripture says nothing about the notion of “globalism”.  Global peace, global respect–one nation for another.   But not globalism as politically referenced today.

The earth will be ruled by the actual presence of our Lord Jesus in Jerusalem, but national entities will remain, along with all the beauty of specific ethnic cultures, life affirming customs and traditions.  The great difference will be an international (global if you will) seeking after Jehovah God–Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah who died for our sins, and rose to give us Eternal Life.



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Every year at this time, since I began blogging, I’ve commemorated Pearl Harbor with a photo of the disaster.  This year, I can’t bring myself to feature the photo.  Recently, whenever I think of Japan I think of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Necessary from a military standpoint?  Yes!  Unthinkably tragic from a human standpoint?  YES! 

We need to remember history, mainly because we could benefit from learning.  History could provide foresight and wisdom.  But it’s been shown again and again that people do not learn from history.  We may remember history, but we simply play it again.

As Christians, we are commanded to forgive.  Forgiveness is the very core of our faith, and the reason why we are standing here rather than decimated and plowed under by God’s wrath.  Yet there are historical characters whom I cannot forgive in my fallen humanity:  especially Hitler, for his atrocities to God’s people the Jews.  And Stalin. 

And, going way back—Oliver Cromwell.  I read a lot of documentaries on Irish history.  I’m currently experiencing a formidable challenge knowing that I have to forgive the British Empire, not only for its mindless brutality in Ireland but for centuries of power lust and domination in India and Africa.  My husband, always the wit, suggests that I gather up all my English tea and dump it in the harbor a mile from our home.

However when I think England I want to think tea and English country gardens—along with Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Keats, the Brontës, Thomas Hardy, John Galsworthy and other authors too numerous to name.  I want to think our precious English language, and English theatre which (in my opinion) is second to none. 

When I think Russia I want to remember ballet and Tchaikowsky who, tortured as he was in his personal life, left the world a legacy of hauntingly beautiful music.  When I think Germany I want to recall Bach and Beethoven—and the tradition of gemütlichkeit reflected by German Americans in the cultural history of Wisconsin.  When I think Japan I want to focus on centuries of exquisite art traditions:  painting, poetry, gardening.

Every nation on earth has its shame as well as its pride.  Individuals are born sinners.  National shame is sin multiplied.  America is not exempt from national sin.  Just ask the decendants of the Cherokee and other Native Nations who walked the Trail of Tears from the deep South to Oklahoma and points West.  Or ask the descendants of slaves.

There is only One Remedy for sin, and that was accomplished for us at Calvary.  God’s Remedy for sin came to us as a baby, born in a crude and humble manger some 2000 plus years ago.  He is coming again!  “And He shall reign forever and ever!”

Meanwhile I will remember December 7th, 1941.  Remember, but move on!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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“And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you, and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”  Genesis 12:3

“Which covenant He made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac, and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.”                        Psalm 105: 9-10 

On September 29, 1938 leaders of Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy met at Munich to decide the fate of the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia made up mostly of ethnic Germans.  Adolph Hitler had alleged that Czechs in that area were mistreating the Germans, and Hitler wanted to annex the territory for Germany.

Already, the Nazi war machine had grown to ominous proportions and Austria had gone under Hitler’s boot.  Czech president, Edvard Benes appealed to Britain and France for help in protecting his little country against the advance of a tyrant so obviously bent on world conquest.

Hitler, meanwhile, was busy deceiving the world into thinking that this little part of Czechoslovakia was all he wanted.  Those who favored siding with the Czechs against Germany were labeled “war mongers”.   Our president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was not present at the Munich conference–but sent repeated pleas for Germany and Czechoslovakia to “negotiote”.

Need we say, “the rest is history”?  On September 30, 1938, headlines in the New York Times read as follows:  “Four Powers Reach a Peaceable Agreement”, “Germans to Enter Sudetenland Tomorrow and Will Complete Occupation in Ten Days”, “Nazi Demands Met”.

After the Munich Conference, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin returned to London waving the Munich Agreement for all to see, and boasting:  “A British Prime Minister has achieved peace in our time . . . . peace with honor.”

Those ironic words were followed by events we can never forget: 

November 8, 1938–“Krystalnacht” (“night of broken glass”) when Hitler’s anti-Semitic posturing turned into the methodical destruction of businesses owned by German Jews. 

March 15, 1939–The remains of Czechoslovakia caved in under Hitler’s aggression.

September 1, 1939–Hitler launched World War II, by attacking Poland and thereby bringing Britain and her European allies into the conflict.

December 7, 1941–Japanese war planes attacked U. S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.

December 8, 1941–U. S. declared war on Japan.

December 11, 1941–Germany and Italy declared war on U. S.

Why don’t we learn from history?  Again and again, we hear the word “negotiate”.  How many of our presidents have aped Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin by thinking they are achieving “peace in our time, peace with honor”?

Negotiations with dictators who are bent on world power can only spell compromise and ultimate devastation.  Negotiations in 1938 resulted in the closest thing to Armageddon the world has ever experienced. 

Negotiations in 1938 also resulted in the torture and extermination of millions of God’s chosen people, the Jews.

Today Germany and Japan are friendly nations, purposing to never again repeat their past.  But other aggressive, diabolical regimes have risen up in the wake of the World War II tyrants–regimes with leaders who, like Adolph Hitler, are committed to wiping the Jews off the face of the earth forever.

Of course this will not happen.  God is faithful, and He will preserve His people and His nation.  There will be a genuine Armageddon, and our Lord will return to earth to reign. 

When the Lord returns, we will have “peace with honor”!  Meanwhile, any “negotiations” which threaten, harm, or in any way undermine the nation of Israel can only result in disaster!

“For you are a holy people unto the Lord your God:  the Lord your God hath chosen you to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”  Deuteronomy 7:6

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved 

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