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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering the Day

December 7th, 1941 began as any other morning in America. People rose, began their day at the breakfast table, and until turning on their radios or leaving their homes, were unaware that Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii had been brutalized by 'the Empire of Japan.'

America lost two thirds of her Navy that morning. We never expected it to happen. Who would ever have imagined that we would be so immediately impacted by a member of the opposition in a war that was happening elsewhere, but not here, not in America.

It was a sobering realization that it did happen, and that it could again. There are many, many books written about this day, and to choose one to feature and review here would be like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Instead, I will take this morning to reflect, rather than remember, for I was not yet born in 1941. Over a hundred planes flown by single Japanese pilots, aimed directly at the largest repository of our Naval force, with determined focus of destruction of the powerful military of the United States ... what a horrible image of humanity lost in this targeted mission. It was the determining factor that brought our country into their war. I then became our war, too.

It is a rainy morning here today, with a bit of lingering fog, the remnants of this unexpectedly warm December week. Later today, Rick and I will venture out to enjoy a traditional Christmas display once packed away but recently revived, the Enchanted Village of Jordan Marsh in Boston. The store itself is now gone, the village, which indeed enchanted generations of Boston children, displayed, after the venerable store of New England closed its doors,for a few years by the city on The Common; it has now been rejuvenated by a store south of the city with a coincidentally similar name: Jordan's Furniture. It is an attempt to bring back the nostalgic sense that all is well with the world at an American Christmas time.

Our military men and women in Iraq are coming home this Christmas. We still have many in Afghanistan to bring back. And sadly, there are many who cannot return, our nephew Stephen among them. This generation's war is not with the Japanese, nor with the Germans, nor with any other group of countries. The war today is with an ideology, an elusive, sinister group of warlords infiltrating susceptible countries and manipulating the people there, indoctrinating their young to hate all that America stands for. It is, more than any other in our history, a war of religion.

But Rick and I will go today to try to rediscover America's season of Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men.

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