Remembering Pearl Harbor Day is like being reminded of 9/11 and another attack on American soil. My mother’s birthday is December 8 and she remembered the day well. She was a young woman of 20 and pregnant.
She and my dad were excited, yet wondered how they would support a family on such meager earnings. Only two years prior to her 18th birthday, she and my dad were married. Now they, along with an unsuspecting nation, would wake to news that shook our country to the core.
The United States had resisted entering World War II, but the events of that day, meant we could no longer be uninvolved. Japan sent waves and waves of planes across the Islands of Hawaii, bombed the American ships in Pearl Harbor and Kamikaze pilots plunged into the sea, destroying themselves along with unsuspecting sailors.
Because information couldn’t be transmitted with speed – no CNN – no internet – difficult communication on all levels; it took a while before all the details were sorted out and the news reached President Roosevelt. Our nation was devastated. Our navy crushed. 2,403 dead and 1,176 wounded. Our resolve was to “Remember Pearl Harbor” as involvement in this war was inevitable.
The following day, my mother turned 20. I would come into the world 6 months later. My dad would not serve in the war because of a physical disability. They continued their lives as planned, but this interruption in their journey would forever live in their hearts and minds.
Unprepared – unsuspecting – thinking we’re beyond something like this ever happening again, our country was attacked almost 60 years later by a group of terrorists. Being unprepared leaves us wide open for vulnerability. We can never be ready enough. The same is true on a spiritual level.
This is the season of repentance – a time to lay all our sins on the table and turn them over to the Savior. As we remember Pearl Harbor, let it be a constant reminder of the importance of being ready. We must be watchful, diligent and prepared in all areas of our lives – especially when it comes to eternity. Our souls are at stake.