Some time ago, my wife and I visited Pearl Harbor. After a documentary video about the events of that Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, we sailed out to the memorial of the USS Arizona. There we stood and read many of the names of the 1.177 individuals who died that day while serving our nation on the USS Arizona. Many of them were preparing for church services that morning. None of them expected it to be his last day alive. Most of the bodies of these 1,177 still lie in their sunken grave in Pearl Harbor. That day 2,390 military and civilians died during that surprise attack. Half of them died on the Arizona.
That day a "sleeping giant awoke," and the "enemy" was soon to be faced with something they had not counted on-the power of American patriotism.
While on the Arizona memorial, I thought also of the more than 3000 civilians who lost their lives in another surprise attack on Sept.11, 2001. On that day, terrorists foolishly thought that they could cause our nation to crumble by destroying the financial towers (World Trade Center) and the innocent people within them. What our new enemy did not understand was that it was not these symbols of our economy that made the U.S. great. Contrary to the political idiom, "It's the economy, stupid," the fact is, it isn't the economy that makes America great. The goodness and strength of America is the power of Faith, Freedom and Patriotism.
Today, I, like most of you, am saddened anytime I hear about any of our valiant military personnel falling to terrorist attacks. But, I realize that if our military were not fighting the terrorists in Iraq, we would be fighting them here in our homeland and hundreds or thousands of unsuspecting civilians would be dying as the result of these cowardly acts at the hands of terrorism's demons of evil. It is much better for all of us to have the terrorists in Iraq fighting trained military than on the streets of New York, Chicago, San Fancisco, Memphis or Oklahoma City attacking common everyday working people.
We all hate to lose any of our military personnel. But, each life sacrificed by one of our military probably saves dozens of lives here at home and gives the people of Iraq the opportunity to work for a future of freedom rather than tyranny.
Dec. 7, along with remembering Pearl Harbor, I plan to spend some time thanking God for our military and praying for their protection.