Even for those of us who have lost a dear one in the days leading up to Christmas in years past, knowing how empty we felt when others were joyous and filled with good cheer, it's still hard to fully comprehend how those families felt. There were very few families that were not seriously impacted and even in those few cases life as they knew it would change dramatically. A brutal and worldwide war was opening only a generation since the last one ended, a war which at the time had been called "the war to end all wars". Yet now another horrible war with even bigger and more powerful weapons and technology and an ever widing reaching scope was unfolding. Worst of all, America had not healed from the first great war, was still in the final throes of the Great Depression and the armed forces were woefully unprepared for a quick response.
So as we take a moment to remember this day in history, "a day which will live in infamy" as President Roosevelt proclaimed in his declaration of war before Congress the next day, remember all who did not return, those who returned including many with visible and invisible scars, as well as all of those who valiantly tried to keep the home fires burning despite the fears of an uncertain future. That they had the celebration of Christmas in 1941, recognizing the birth of the Son of God, the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings, a Man-God who representing peace and love, not hate and war, likely at least gave them a reason to labor on and strive for the victory that came in 1945.
Pearl Harbor Day just before Christmas: something we all should remember. God bless you all and God bless America. Let us strive for peace but always do so from a position of strength.