Note: This Blog was originally posted on December 7, 2016. I have updated it slightly for a re-post today, the 80th anniversary
How did you wake up this morning? An alarm clock with soft music and a snooze alarm…Mom waking you up…you spouse raising you from slumber? Maybe you woke up startled from a bad dream or, conversely, woke up from a great dream wishing it wasn’t over. Maybe you woke up with a headache or feeling on top of the world.
Eighty years ago today, a group of men woke up on a Sunday morning, not to church bells, but rather to yells, screams and loud noises. Smoke soon began to fill their small rooms containing their hanging bunks. They were on the USS Arizona in the calm waters of port at Pearl Harbor Naval Station. Yet lead was falling from the sky courtesy of the Imperial Japanese.
A total of 338 aircraft approached the Island of Oahu, where Pearl Harbor was located. The aircraft, dispatched by Yamamoto Isoroku the mastermind of the attack, arrived just before 8:00am that Sunday morning. The most vaunted of the aircraft was the Mitsubishi A6M “Zero“, usually known simply as “The Japanese Zero” a splendidly designed aircraft.
William Walker Ford, who lived near Latonia, Kentucky and was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, had decided to serve his country months before. He was a member of the United States Navy and he lie in the USS Arizona that fateful morning. Soon he would be laying in the arms of Jesus in Heaven as his body, with 1,101 others, lay entombed in the USS Arizona at the bottom of Pearl Harbor where it remains to this day. This is a memorial to those of us in 2021, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
If you awoke today in any of the ways I described in the first paragraph, say a pray of thanks that you have been given the gift of life for one more day. “For those who fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” May we never forget December 7, 1941.