Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor

This morning I received a 'forward email' from a friend. Normally I'm not good with these forwards. I peruse them, enjoy the ones I want, ignore the others, and never ever pass them on.

But this one is really special because it says a lot about my sons and every member of our armed forces. Here it is. Read it and then I'll tell you why I say that.

Remember Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 - Seventy Years Ago Today.

Here is another story about Pearl Harbor you might not have heard before.

A Unique Story About Pearl Harbor - Pearl Harbor Mistakes - A Very different and interesting conclusion of the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor. Read on....

Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait so I went into a small gift shop to kill time and in the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflection on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz. It said:

Sunday, December 7th, 1941 -- Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. when he was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet and landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.

There was such a spirit of despair, dejection, and defeat -- you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

Christmas Day, 1941 -- Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere he looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"

Admiral Nimitz' reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

He said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?"

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do you mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"

Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and then sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking them, that they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those damaged ships to America to be repaired. As it is now the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them
over to the dry docks and we can have them repaired and at sea in the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.

I've never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.

In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredricksburge, Texas, he was a born optimist. But any way you look at it-- Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeat.

President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair, and defeat.

There is a reason that our national motto is, "IN GOD WE TRUST".

I liked this 'forward' and I found it very interesting but I don't entirely agree with it. When President Roosevelt appointed Admiral Nimitz to be Commander of the Pacific Fleet, he wasn't just appointing an optimist or someone who could see the 'silver lining'. He was appointing a member of the United States Armed Forces. He was appointing a man with character, intelligence, and courage. And this man's character and intelligence were honed by the training he received as a member of our Armed Forces.

It wasn't so much that he was an optimist. His key attribute was that he was a strategist who looked at a situation and saw it's many facets - not just the obvious. And he learned this
strength, this distinctness of perception through his training with our armed forces. The same training that all our troops in every branch of service receive and which is second to none. And that, my friends, is truly God's blessing.

Yes, there is a reason that our national motto is, "IN GOD WE TRUST".


  1. This is all very interesting. I never would have thought there was a "silver lining" to anything that happy that terrible day, but "hearing" it through his story does make you grateful to God that things happened the way they did if they did have to happen at all. Thanks for passing this forward along!

  2. I will say this. God is always in control, be it good or bad. He knows all. He can allow or stop. I can't figure out why He allows some things, like the crap going on in Washington, D.C. I want to believe we are still a blessed nation but He could take his hand off of America any day. It seems like everyday it is something else that takes away from God. I still trust my God (the God of the Holy Bible). What else is there?


Gentle, strong, kind or true, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Short or long, it's up to you, your comments and thoughts really make my day!