Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor

Many of you who know me, know that I love History. I especially love American History, and most especially, that of WW2.

Tomorrow happens to be one of those dates on the Calendar in American History that falls into the category of acknowledgement.

December 7, 1941 was the day when the then-Empire of Japan, launched a sneak attack upon the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands, and upon the United States of America. Hawaii, wasn't a state in the Union then, but it was more or less an American outpost, that had recently been utilized by the US Navy to extend it's ability to fight in the Pacific, instead of using it's own bases in San Diego, and San Francisco.

During the attack of the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the US lost all of its Battleships, and over 2000 men and women lost in the attack. The entire fleet that was at anchor was absolutely devastated. It immediately gave the Japanese Empire control of the entire Pacific to conquer all that it wanted with nobody to stop them.
The only positive that could be said from this, is that the United States' aircraft carriers were all out of port that day, and we spared the same fate that fell on those of the battleships. Almost by default, the US Navy became dependant on carrier warfare, which was just beginning to replace the Battleship as Queen of the Seas.

Of course, we all know how this story plays out...

The United States fought back adapting to the only other option it had with its Navy, and out-fought and out produced the Japanese to become the Superpower it is today. One may look back at this date in history and wonder if the then-neutral USA would not have been attacked in the manner, if it would've entered into the war, and stopped the Japanese and Germans from the tyranny of their governments, and the disgusting horrors that they were inflicting on the people who faced them?

And then I started to wonder if each and every one of us has had our own personal "Pearl Harbor"?
-Something that has stung us, and motivated us to dig deep down out of our own comfort zones, and work like we never thought possible, to achieve the result of what we are today?

Certainly it could be said that the United States would never have entered the war and placed such immense resources to be the Militarized might that it became, and never looked back unless it was attacked, and needed to be defended? It grew exponentially over the next few years, and became the largest Navy that this world has ever known. I doubt this would have been needed if the entire nation stopped being divided, and worked together on one commonality and united together to be one people, against one cause.

And looking back at this moment today, I can see that each of us individually has probably had our own moment of being "Pearl Harbor'ed" and how has it made us better for the experience? Have we united with our support system, and fought with every resource that we have, or have we sat amongst the wreckage and looked around thinking, "This is impossible to fix" and given up hope?

I know that there are moments in my life where I have done both of these reactions. I can tell you with surprising detail how I have fought back and rebuilt myself from devastation, and I can also tell you humiliating moments where I was unable to fight back because I lacked the will and fighting spirit, being a broken man.

But writing this note now, I can tell you the way I would like to see myself in the example of History, and I know it can happen, because history has proven that it can happen over and over and over again. The key is to keep an open mind, have tough skin, and work hard. All the other things you will pick up if you have the desire.

Before the Christmas season sneaks up on you, prepare your body, soul and mind to NOT get Pearl Harbor'ed. And if you are in the middle of rebuilding, keep solace in the fact that it can always get done if you have the will to fight.

But always remember the day of Pearl Harbor...

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