The Final Word Less One - on any subject anywhere any time that the author finds interesting -

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day - December 7th, 1941

Lt. H. Earl Mizell driving an Army jeep - Pacific Theater - Saipan?

Take just a moment from the joys and travails of the holiday season to think back 70 years ago to "a Day that will live in Infamy". And so it does.

Let us remember not only the men lost on those ships at harbor but look beyond...not just the war that came to America's doorstep that day but the peace that those men bought us by their sacrifice.

Dec 7, 1941 changed the life of the man in the black and white picture. He could already see that war was coming and had enlisted right after gaining a Master of Science degree in Agriculture. He'd wanted to go for radio training but the recruiter said that specialty was full up, what else can you do? And so the farm boy from Southern Illinois spent the months before Pearl Harbor getting his basic training in the horse cavalry.

He had a spirited horse called Red, a chestnut who'd been too much for the other men in his unit to handle and he greatly enjoyed galloping across the plains of Kansas.

Pearl Harbor happened and hours later, he was on a train for the East Coast and he never saw that fine chestnut horse again. By sheer fluke of luck, he was dumped into training for radio communications. The war took him places he'd never imagined: New York City, Florida, Canada in the dead of winter, California...and finally, overseas to the island cluster of Guam, Saipan and Tinian.

At the end of the war, he had a chance to go to Japan, but decided to go home instead. That decision enabled him to eventually meet my mother. So life happened. In 1979, I went to Japan to attend a student conference and for years after that, my parents hosted any of my Japanese friends who managed to get to my hometown.

One of those friends spent half a night talking to my Dad and was thunderstruck that a veteran of World War II in the Pacific would welcome the son of a former enemy into his home. My father explained that the war had nothing to do with me, his daughter, or anyone of my generation. The war was over and Japan and the United States were friends. Nothing to forgive or forget: the war had brought our nations together and it was up to the young to make sure it stayed that way. That young Japanese feller became a doctor, working on the military base at Yokohama, treating the ills and injuries of American servicemen.

So let us remember and reflect and also turn our eyes to the future. Nothing lasts forever; the enemy of the past becomes the staunch ally of the future. That is embodied in the message:

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Men. 

As Christ said, love your enemies. Turns out it is a great strategy and guarantees the future. So, yes, we have our struggles, but let us not demonize our foes.

Peace on Earth. To my friends in Japan, recovering from the terrible earthquake and tsunami that ravaged your beautiful northern coast, I think of you. Stay safe and away from that nuclear reactor.

Goodwill to all. May we meet as friends someday.

 This is, oddly enough, the 3rd blog of Christmas.

The 2nd blog of Christmas - That Pagan? Tree 

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