Lutheran Witness remembers Pearl Harbor

From Witness, Mercy, Life Together.

A year after the attack, in December 1942, the Lutheran Witness remembered the event and included this telegram message sent two days after the attack. The message was sent from Pres. Behnken to the President of the United States. In the telegram, Pres. Behnken shares this message:

“We, the President and Vice-Presidents of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states, in session in Chicago, assure you of our prayers in this hour of national emergency cause by the treacherous attack of the enemy, and on the basis of Romans, chapter thirteen, pledge to you the loyal support of our people in the defense of our country. ”    – J.W. Behnken, President of Synod

And on this 70th anniversary an appropriate prayer.

Gracious God and Father, Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to bring us heavenly peace. Yet we are reminded on this anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks that violence and conflict still rage among Your children on earth. Grant that we all may live together in unity and peace, and let all hatred and ill will be remembered no more. Give us that peace which the world cannot give, and grant us grace that, delivered from all conflict and strife, we may live in harmony and safety and finally, having gained the eternal rest of the saints in glory, may praise and bless, worship and glorify You forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen

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Pearl Harbor: A Day of Infamy

Seventy years ago today …

The sunken U.S. Navy battleships USS West Virg...

Image via Wikipedia

Just before 8:00 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, the first of two waves of attacking aircraft swept over Pearl Harbor. Barely 15 minutes later the most powerful battleships of the mighty U.S. Pacific Fleet were either sunk or burning wrecks. The California was half submerged, with her keel lying in the harbor’s mud. Nearby, the West Virginia had her port side torn open. Her twisted metal was burning, but for now she was still afloat. Two other ships, the Tennessee and the Maryland, were battered, but in better shape than their sisters. Beside them, the Oklahoma had been struck by a barrage of torpedoes and capsized. The U.S.S. Nevada was the only battleship to get underway that morning, but she was damaged and had run up onto the beach. The worst fate was suffered by the U.S.S. Arizona,which blew up and sank, taking over 1,000 of her crew with her.

The following day, President Roosevelt went before Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Japan. At the time, he could not have known that the attack on Pearl Harbor was only the beginning of a Japanese offensive that would conquer most of the Western Pacific.

And on December 7, 1941 Japan ultimately lost World War II as a result of this surprise attack.

In those dark first months after the Pearl Harbor disaster, it was not apparent to many that Japan had already lost the war. For, despite sinking much of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the Japanese had missed a couple of crucial targets. Foremost among these were the huge oil-storage facilities on Oahu. Their loss would have delayed the American counterattack in the Pacific by as much as a year. One can only imagine how much more costly the conquests of Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa would have been had the Japanese had another year to fortify them. Just as important as the oil facilities were the American aircraft carriers, which were at sea when the Japanese attacked. The first of them to return, the Enterprise, sailed into Pearl Harbor the day after the attack. Surveying the wreckage from the bridge, Adm. William Halsey could not hide his dismay and anger. When asked later about how America would recover, Halsey replied, “When this war is over the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell.” America had found the first of its fighting admirals.

Go to the source and read the entire excellent article.  God bless all our veterans who served in World War II as well as those men and women who continue to serve, preserving our liberties.  And thank you.

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Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Michael Golch

RMC Thomas James ReevesRMC Thomas James Reeves
46 years old from Thomaston, Connecticut
December 9, 1895 – December 7, 1941
U.S. Navy

On December 7, 1941, Radioman Chief Thomas Reeves was aboard the U.S.S. California. During the attack he helped load the anti-aircraft ammo, by hand, until he was overcome by smoke and fire. For his actions that day RMC Reeves was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

His citation reads: “For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. After the mechanized ammunition hoists were put out of action in the U.S.S. California, Reeves, on his own initiative, in a burning passageway, assisted in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he was overcome by smoke and fire, which resulted in his death.” In 1943 the destroyer escort USS Reeves was named in his honor.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

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Wednesday Hero 11/25/09

Rear Adm. Ned DeetsRear Adm. Ned Deets
U.S. Navy

Rear Adm. Ned Deets speaks with Frank Chebatar, president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, at the conclusion of the base consolidation ceremony. The two bases consolidated to form Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

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