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Pearl Harbor Day Resources
Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II.
It may be a good time to visit with our children about the awful price of war and the reasons a country might be justified in going to war.
My Dad loves America and is a decorated World War II hero. He is a true patriot and is grateful for the opportunity he had to serve our country and defend freedom. But in his words, "War is hell."
Others have said, "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." Our children should understand that. We might want to explain the suffering and destruction that come with any war, and why a nation should only engage in a war when other options to protect freedom, faith, or family have failed.
Each of us should know what our position is, share it with our children, and invite them to consider the things they value enough to fight for. My personal standard is that I don't support U.S. involvement in any war that I wouldn't want my sons to risk their lives for -- a high standard indeed.
In today's world, our children may be exposed to violent video games and movies that trivialize death, violence, and suffering. As parents, we need to carefully consider what we want our children to be exposed to in our homes, and carefully select movies and entertainment that portray the principles and perspectives we value.
Here is a little about the Battle of Pearl Harbor from Wikipedia:
"The Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack was intended as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.
"All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.
"Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.
"The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared....Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.
"There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, 'a date which will live in infamy.'"
See More: Pearl Harbor Resources (links to videos, interactive timeline, first-hand accounts, etc.)