December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed by the Japanese. This decision to attack Pearl Harbor drew America into Word War II. Now, almost 70 years later we have the ability to look back at one of the most infamous military attacks ever perpetuated on America. The ensuing war between America and Japan delivers a message concerning the brutal nature of mankind.
Today is December 7, 2018. As a former soldier, this day serves as a reminder of the high cost of freedom for me. Many, many lives were lost on this fateful day. It wasn’t only America that lost good men on this day. The kamikaze pilots that committed suicide on this day left behind wives and children. Entire families received the shocking news that their loved ones had vanished into the ensuing blasts. Japanese and American families were ripped asunder via violence.
Throughout the chaotic and grueling island hopping campaign, America was faced with a choice. End the war or spend years fighting house to house in Japan. It is very easy to criticize President Truman for deciding to end the war. However, when both sides are looked at, ending the war was the only way to save American lives. The souls of the men and women who fought in this conflict was at stake. Our society was tired of war. We had fought the Germans, and seen the horror of the concentration camps. The interment camps that housed Ally troops in Japan were no better.
Over half a million American military personnel died during this war. Over half a million were wounded. Stats show that almost half a million Japanese were killed during the conflict. 120,000 were killed with the dropping of the two bombs. Estimates say that 15 million Japanese were left homeless after the war. Can you imagine the damage that would have been, if Truman had said to continue to fight the war in Japan? You can’t put a price on mental, physical and emotional health.
Today, we seem to gloss over the sacrifice of so many people who laid down their lives. It is high time to recognize that if others had not summoned unfathomable amounts of courage, this world would be a much different place. War is never pretty. The cost of waging war is measured in death, broken bodies and shattered minds. Today, it is important that we set aside a moment to give thanks that people are willing to pay that cost.
That is all.