On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. I have visited the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii. The attack by the Imperial Forces of Japan on U.S. soil at Pearl Harbor forced the United States to declare war against Japan, and thus, be an integral part of World War II. Over 2,400 lives were lost. On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I am reminded of those who were directly affected by that attack, and the consequences of those actions.
Months ago, my family watched a movie called "Tora! Tora! Tora!", a 1970 film retelling the Pearl Harbor attack. You are given insight from several different angles, including Japanese commanders and American soldiers. I am pretty sure it was my husband's idea to watch this movie. He is an avid war history buff, but he also knows the importance of learning history. Our children may not have understood everything happening in the movie, but they may now have a better idea of why December 7th is a day to remember. Our children often want to stop at memorials when we drive through new towns, pointing out interesting things about what had been written ("Hey! This guy had the last name of Doyle!"; "He was only 17 years old when he fought in the war.")
My freshman year of high school, I was quoted in the yearbook as saying "History class is just a bunch of names and dates to memorize." My world history teacher, Mr. Wilson, was insulted, and he should have been. That quote was not true, and I have actually enjoyed learning about history and social studies. It is just that it was not my favorite school subject, and I needed to come up with something quickly. One of my sister's best friends was also the yearbook editor, and needed a quick quote from a 9th grader. My view on studying history is much more involved than what I said when I was 14 years old. I am still not very good at remembering significant names and dates, though.
I believe that the Holy Bible is history, and something that should be studied, both the old and new testaments. Without studying the Scriptures, I would not know why it is so important to be obedient to God. I would not know that I would always have someone who loved me and listened to me, even when I thought I was all alone in the world. Studying the whole Bible gives me a better understanding of what is going on in this world. The more the world wants to be "different" and wants to "change", the more things seem to be just like before.
Even though my favorite school subject has never been history, I believe it is important to study. Living in just the "now", and not knowing the past, can lead to making huge mistakes. Learning from others' decisions in similar situations, knowing the background of why things are done the way they are, knowing those things can really help in understanding what is going on in the present.
Seventy nine years ago, the United States became active participants in a world war. This world would be very different today if the Allies had ultimately lost. There are plenty of atrocities, from all sides, during that war. Yet, I must still thank every service man and woman who stepped up and fought for the freedom of this whole world.
1 John 3:16 (New International Version)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to laydown our lives for our brothers and sisters.