I just joined yesterday, and I am honored to be on line with the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. And also, with their family members and interested others who wish to ensure that the sacrifice of the men and women who perished on that awful day will never be forgotten. And more importantly, that this, and all future generations of Americans heed the lessons of their great sacrifice -- that liberty and freedom come with a high price and depend upon unwavering vigilence and preparedness.
I posted a message yesterday in the Maryland-Oklahoma forum asking if any survivors on the Oklahoma knew my uncle, Luther J. Farmer, MM 1st Class. He was below decks when the attack began and did not make it out. I won't repeat my other posting, but if anyone on line knew him, or was a friend or acquaintance, I would be honored to receive a reply.
While perusing this site, and others, I learned that there is passionate discussion about a possible conspiracy. While I harbor no such suspicion or belief, I have studied enough history to know that it is not out of the question. However, the liklihood of ever really knowing is not great, and I would hope that the passion and energies of those inclined to pursue this topic might be put to better use in educating this generation about Pearl Harbor and the obvious mistakes (and I think honest mistakes) that led up to it. We cannot sleep -- ever -- if we want to live in a free society. Just as Californians are learning the hard way that electricity does not come out of the wall (no offense to Californians), we need to teach this generation that peace and freedom do not come from hiding in a shell and pretending that the world is not a very dangerous place.
It is earned by involvement in world affairs, constant vigilence, and a great desire (suprisingly enough) for peace. A passion for world peace in men and women who have experienced war drives their passion for military preparedness. This is something that many misguided, so called American pacifists never seem to learn until it is too late.
Whether there was a conspiracy or not is far less important than the greater lesson to be learned. When the time comes, God will mete out His justice if evil hearts and minds knowingly and with premeditation sent American men and women to their deaths at Pearl Harbor.
The war is long over, Japan is our strong and worthy ally in the far east, and hearts have healed and will continue to heal. My father was bitter against Japan for many years because his brother died in a "sneak attack". He would never buy Japanese products when I was growing up. But, a few years before he died in 1980, he put it all behind him and bought me a Japanese guitar, a Yamaha - a great guitar. When I play it, I think of my father and of of my uncle who died honorably at their dishonorable hands. But then I also think about God's greater plan - how Pearl Harbor forced us into the war and how it saved Europe from Hitler and the far east from a then war-like and war-honoring empire and culture. And I know my uncle and the thousands of others at Pearl Harbor, and in the rest of the war, did not die in vain -- and despite any conspiracy, God's greater plan prevailed.
I have gone on too long, and spoken from my heart. I hope I have not offended anyone. I am happy about the movie and I hope many will learn from it. My 18 year old daughter saw it last night, and we talked all about it when she got home. She said she cried through the battle scene and thought of her great uncle and what he must have endured when the Oklahoma capsized. She has always thought that "war is stupid" but last night she matured some and told me that even though it is stupid, I guess it is some times necessary. Slowly but surely the lessons of Pearl Harbor will be learned by her generation. God bless all of you who served on that day and your families -- and thank you.