Sixty-five years ago, as young soldiers lay asleep in their bunks, dreaming of a life far removed from war, America was awakened to one of the worst nightmares in its history--the attack on Pearl Harbor. In two short hours, the Japanese launched wave after wave of crippling assaults, all but destroying the headquarters--and spirit--of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Today, the remnant of brave men who survived that day gathered to remember those who did not. More than 500 veterans were expected to make the trip to Hawaii, as they do every five years, to share stories, shed tears, and salute their 2,400 fallen brothers. Many of those who passed away in the hulls of their ships were young teenage sailors. As one writer said, they were boys who died before they had the opportunity to become men, get married, and build lives. But let us not overlook what they did build--a stronger, more united nation.
Unfortunately for many, this year's trip of remembrance will be the survivors' last. With their numbers dwindling and health in decline, they decided to make 2006 their final farewell. As one historian remarked, "We are seeing the passing of a generation," though I pray that we have inherited their great courage. While America confronts a modern war with enemies bent on suicide and warped by imperial ideas, let us continue to abide by the commitment of those soldiers to protect and defend faith, family and freedom.
From FRC's Washington Update