Wednesday, December 7, 2016

75th Anniversary - Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941!

It was December 7, 1941 in a farm house in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. The radio was on in the evening with dial set to the scheduled program of Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy. His program always began with theme song, “Back in the Saddle Again.” After the song his latest western adventure began. The action began to unfold and then a few minutes along the program was interrupted with an announcement that the Japanese had initiated a sneak attack on military targets at Pearl Harbor!
I had just turned 8 years old the preceding August. We had moved a few months earlier in the year to a home owned by my dad’s first cousin, Ellis Harriger. They had worked out an arrangement for us to live there while Ellis and his wife moved to the home of his wife’s parents. It was a new world for us because we now had electricity which we did not have before. Ellis and wife, Dorothy, left their floor model radio with us. Up to that time we did not have one. And so we quickly assessed the programs available and one of my slots was on Sunday evening when I listened to Gene Autry. As mentioned, the program on December 7, 1941 was interrupted with news about the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. I was extremely mad because of the interruption and not the least bit interested as to what had happened at a far off place by the name of Pearl Harbor. I never did find out what happened to Gene Autry in his latest adventure in dealing with bad guys!

The war got underway and went on for some time until the Germans surrendered in spring of 1945 and the Japanese surrendered in August of 1945 after 2 atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Negasaki. By the way it was the last conflict in which the enemy had nothing to say as they met the terms of unconditional surrender. Starting with Korea it was an issue of “negotiating” with no-win situations taking place in the decades since! But a very significant event happened a few years after WW II. It did not make world headlines and media people did not provide intense coverage when it happened.

Mitsuo Fuchida was the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor and who is the one reported to have shouted the war cry, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” He was very excited to be involved in this effort and rose in the ranks to become a very influential leader in later military operations. He provides graphic details of the attack from his point of view before moving along later in time to the moment a transforming miracle happened in his life's journey. In the spring of 1950 that miracle took place when he received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life and eventually became an evangelist! His personal testimony is given at From Pearl Harbor to Calvary Along the way he came into contact with Jake DeShazer who had been one of the Doolittle Raiders over Tokyo and had become a prisoner of the Japanese until the end of the war. DeShazer became a Christian and later a missionary to Japan. A photo of the two together is shown in the article detailing Fuchida’s conversion to Christianity.

I encourage you to read this testimony. It is a reminder that God works mighty miracles in the lives of human beings when at times we are prone to think there is no hope for persons such as Mitsuo Fuchida!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)]