Remembering 80 Years

My mother would often tell me the story. It was a Sunday morning. She was sweeping the basement floor and listening to the radio when the announcement came that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

She shut the radio off as if that would make the news go away.

I’m sad to realize I never got Dad’s story–where he was when he heard.

My parents hadn’t married yet. He joined the navy. She joined the Coast Guard. Dad shipped out as a corpsman to the South Pacific. Mom, ironically, served in Oklahoma, a state that has no coast to guard.

Today, one of my great-nieces is in Texas training to become a navy corpsman.

Eighty years of history have come and gone. There are so few today alive to tell us where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor.

And we are now at the point where students only know of 9/11 because of their elders explaining where they were when they heard.

It’s an effective way to pass history along. When the young hear our stories, those of our own or those passed down to us, they remember. History becomes real to them.

We must pass along history, for “History is a story written by the finger of God.” (Lewis)

“Lord of hosts be with us yet,

“Lest we forget–lest we forget.” (Kipling)

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28 Replies to “Remembering 80 Years”

  1. Great, reflective post Ms. Nancy. I wonder what will become of a world that wants to forger its true past and the lessons we can learn from it. Whether it’s our history of our journey of faith, our family, or our nation, we cannot forget from whence we’ve come. Well said ma’am. There’s a name for modified history. It’s called a lie.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Nancy! I was home-ported at Pearl Harbor in the mid Seventies. My Dad had served in the Pacific Theater in the Marines in WWII. He began to write me faithfully during that time, but he was reluctant to talk of his own experiences. I do not think he was alone in that.

    1. As I said in the post, my dad was a corpsman in the navy serving with construction units of Marine Seabees. He didn’t see combat but still didn’t say much about his experiences. Just that he longed to go home. Bless all who serve. Thanks, Jon. God bless!

  3. It is so hard to imagine that day and all that happened. I remember standing above the Arizona in Pearl Harbor and being moved by the enormous loss. Thanks for sharing Nancy

  4. It’s amazing to know that 80 years have passed since that awful tragedy! I had the blessing recently to edit a book penned by a man who was there that day at Pearl Harbor and shared his story.

  5. Nancy, thank you so much for sharing this story. I never asked my parents where they were or what they were doing when Pearl Harbor happened. Your story made me wish I had, and reminded me again our mandate to tell generations about Jesus and how we came to know Him.

  6. Kipling and Lewis had it right. We must tell these stories, make movies that portray these events, and make sure that our schools don’t skip the important moments of history. What the schools and movies never get around to portraying, we must pass down to the next generation verbally. They need to hear our stories. Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes that were made in the past..

  7. I pray we never forget the sacrifices made by our fathers, mothers, brothers, and all family members who gave much to protect us and others. It is important to remember those who loved so much that they risked their lives (and many made the ultimate sacrifice) for us. A reminder to remember that Jesus loves us so much that He gave all.

    1. And now our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews. neighbors. The sacrifice is ongoing. May it always be done only when necessary, and done wisely and well. Thanks, Katherine. God bless!

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