Today, as President Roosevelt declared it, we remember a “Day that will live in infamy.” On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, an act that pulled the United States into the Second World War, perhaps the darkest, most costly, and civilization-altering conflict in the history of human existence. Oral historian Studs Terkel called it “The Good War.” And while no war is truly good, this conflict pitted institutional tyranny against champions of religious and civil liberty, and the value of individual human life. In the end, at unimaginable cost, freedom prevailed. Today I’m remembering those who paid this price to secure a victory for hope and virtue. I offer this prayer of thanks for their strength of resolve.
“Dear God, not everything that happens in your world reflects your goodness and grace. You have given us freedom to choose, and with that freedom sometimes we choose to do evil. Today we remember a time of great evil in our world – we remember World War II. We also remember those who stood their ground against great evil, those who fought here at home and on the battle fronts to insure that evil would not prevail. We thank you that in the hour of need you gave men and women the strength and resolve to stand, whatever the cost. May those brave souls who still remain here with us feel today your hand of favor and strength. In their last years here on earth give them renewed hope and an awareness of our gratitude for their bravery and sacrifice. May we never forget them, and may you honor them according to the grace you gave in those days and according to their response to that grace, then and now. In Jesus…”