“A DATE THAT WILL LIVE IN IINFAMY”

“A date that will live in infamy”                                                                                                Andy Hollifield 12-7-16

Those words were spoken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his address to congress on December 8th, 1941 following the Japanese attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the 7th, 75 years ago today. Only 24 years and 8 months since entering WW1 against Germany, America declared war on Japan with only 1 dissenting vote in both houses of congress. Only 3 days later, Germany declared war on the US. The US began fighting a war on two fronts with a depleted military. I would be remiss if I did not take time to thank our WW2 veterans for the great sacrifices they made in those trying times for our country. Of the remaining veterans, 561 (approximately) veterans of what has come to be known as the “great war” are truly the “greatest generation” and became quite notable in their accomplishments. They gave selflessly and went on in life to become founders of Fortune 500 companies, athletes, musicians, career soldiers, politicians, writers, scientists, and many other areas where they continued to give of themselves. To them, the rest of us owe an enormous debt of gratitude. We are losing them at an alarming rate. The youngest of them are in their late eighties with most in their nineties and the oldest is 110 years old. Those are just the US soldiers, not counting the other countries of the world. There were 291,557 US soldiers gave their lives for their country in battle and 113,842 non theatre service deaths during WW2 and now only around an estimated 620,000 remain according to Wikipedia and the Depart Of Veterans Affairs. (The previous statistics and paragraph are a correction from my original post. My apologies)

But with that said, I want to look at the country itself during those tumultuous years. I have known several WW2 veterans and they didn’t like to talk much about the horrors they seen. But I have heard stories of war-time on the home front. Stories like the young man from a southern state that told his CO he would volunteer to climb the pole to raise the flag if he could wait till 4:30 to do it. When asked why 4:30, the soldier replied that at that time he knew his momma would be on her knees behind the wood stove praying for him. At 4:30 he climbed the pole, raised the flag, and slid back to the ground with bullets whizzing by his head. Why did he succeed where others had failed? Prayer, plain and simple! What I want to know is “what happened to that America?” I have heard stories of folks gathering at noon in churches in rural communities to pray for their young soldiers whether their son was there or not. They were bearing one another’s burdens. I have seen the documentaries about women going to work building planes, working in munitions plants, and doing whatever it took to help the war effort. It was in the forefront of society and especially in churches. Our nation was a praying nation in those days.

We have seen it several times in our days. Most recently on September 11th, 2001 after the World Trade Center attacks. After the buildings collapsed, a call was made for prayer throughout the nation. The president even addressed the country calling for prayer and I don’t think anyone complained. Again a few days later when we invaded Iraq, a call was made for prayer. Prior to that, in 1990 during the first Gulf War (Dessert Storm) the president ask the nation to pray. For the duration of the war, many local churches held weekly special prayer services just for that purpose. God heard and answered in a miraculous way with a minimal loss of life even in the ground offensive. Our troops were questionable going up against the Iraqi guard but the image I remember is the footage of them walking across the desert with their hands in the air begging to surrender. This too was made possible by prayer. Matthew 19:26 says it best “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Our nation may have become what I call “crisis Christians” but that doesn’t mean we have too. I know the bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days but it doesn’t say you have too. It does say that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). It also say in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

As you go about your activities today, let this all sink in and be a blessing to you. You still have a God that is still able to do for you what he has done for others in the past. The thing that has grown weaker is not our God but our faith. You can still count on him! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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