The joys of Christmas were muted, young men by the thousands volunteered to go to war, and with our other fighting men closing in on the Germany territory, a two front war was now underway since Japan was an ally of Germany. Christmas was still celebrated as it was important to keep things of good cheer present in the atmosphere of gloom which filtered through families everywhere. Thousands of young men, some almost boys, were signing up to report for training, tearful goodbyes were soon to be shed, and no one knew fully what to expect except that the future looked rather weak. Even so, industries would quickly retool and the war machine would get in full swing, and while America would take a few lickings in the Pacific, even the Japanese knew that if they couldn't decisively win quickly, in the end they were doomed because they wouldn't have the necessary staying power.
The immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor was more than two thousand four hundred dead, nearly half from the Battleship Arizona sunk where it was anchored. Sadly it was soon learned that many of the casualties were known to be alive at the time recovery began but there was no way to reach them before their air supply ran out. But the one good thing to report that none of the American aircraft carriers were sunk since they were all out on maneuvers. Even Japanese Fleet Commander Yamamoto knew this would ultimately favor the Americans in the end yet he carried out his duties as any loyal commander would, ultimately committing suicide in the end.
The War in the Pacific would go on until August 1945, only ending due to Japan being finally driven to here knees by nuclear bombs. There has been much criticism in recent years about this, however, had we not used the bomb the death tolls on both sides would have astronomically increased due to the suicidal warfare options pushed by Tojo. Thankfully, it came to an end an America, rather than being a conqueror, returned Japan to self governance where she remains as a close and reliable friend.
So, what can we learn from the events of Pearl Harbor and the ensuing war? Well, first of all, we must realize that if a nation wants to maintain its sovereignty, it must be strong and capable of taking on all comers. We learned from World War II that the lack of maintaining a strong fighting force during the 1930's led to the growing influence of Germany and Japan and a heavy price was paid because of that. We also learned that in war, just like in peace, miracles do happen. For example, the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and early 1945, the war to Germany could have been lost due to bad weather. But General Patton directed his chief Chaplain to write God and demand good weather for battle in prayer. Now the good Chaplain did as he was told, somewhat lessened in phraseology, yet it was done and, voila, America's outmanned forces ultimately won. Miracle? Coincidence? You be the judge. And even in the Pacific, had one of the airman searching for the Japanese fleet from the skies above not found a break in the clouds to spot Yamamoto's fleet, the Battle of Midway would likely have been lost and with it, perhaps the war. And there are several other examples but I would just leave the rest to your own research and imagination.
In closing, let's never forget the tragedy that was Pearl Harbor and use it to do what is right and good. You know, when America is in the major leadership role in the world, peace usually happens. And why do we see so much turmoil and chaos today? America has decided it no longer needs to lead the way. That's why the effort going on for freedom in America are so important these days. Stay informed and stay involved. That is something we all must do, regardless of politics, because this is about much more than politics. It is about freedom and liberty.