Yet for those of us who do remember that day 72 years ago Saturday, the day President Roosevelt called “a day in infamy,” it was a day not soon forgotten; but now generally forgotten by the succeeding generations, similar to that what is recorded in Judges 2:10 that reads “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”
As my generation is gathered unto their fathers, today’s rising generations have basically forgotten how their freedoms were won, and have, like the Israelites of old, “forsook the God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.” Judges 2:12.
People long for peace, people pray for peace, but peace continues to elude us. Whenever I long for peace, I remember Christ’s words in Matthew 24 that declare: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars ... For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places. All of these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Other prophetic writings have declared similar warnings: “And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations ... And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn ... and shall be made to feel the wrath of God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of the nations.”
God’s prophets down through the generations have repeatedly reminded the world of what is to come. Many, like me, have witnessed the “wrath of God” firsthand — like on Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and Korea — and truly know what that “wrath” can be like.
It was not pleasant to watch, yet many today seem indifferent as America turns its back on its foundational cornerstone, Jefferson’s ‘Laws of Nature’s God,’ while turning to the secular teachings of man.
Every generation, beginning with Cain, has had those who sought to rule over their fellow man. Some, like Castro and Stalin, succeeded for many years; others, like Hitler, only a few years, but at a terrible cost. Recently, while pondering the beauty of my family, after feeling the joy of being in their presence while participating in the marriage of a grandchild, I asked myself how and why freedom is lost.
The answer: “liberty and freedom’s greatest enemies are ignorance and indifference, ignorance as to what Americans have been given by the Founding Fathers and God; and indifference to their duties as citizens in a nation where the government is still ‘We the people.’”
America learned during the Cold War that the greatest political enemy of freedom and liberty is communism.
The communists have never given up their efforts to destroy mankind’s freedom worldwide, boring away, like termites, from within while installing their form of tyranny wherever possible, like in Cuba. Communism, like terrorism, still remains a real threat to America’s liberty.
Another ponderable phrase regarding man’s freedoms reads: “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.” The Founders understood God’s role in establishing America’s freedoms.
Today, because of indifference and an ignorance of the principles of freedom embedded into the Constitution by the Founders, America wrings its hands while its cultures and freedoms are attacked with some freedoms already lost —destroyed in the name of political correctness.
The enemies of freedom never sleep. America’s freedoms are safe only as long as America has free men and women willing to shed their blood for that freedom.
Today, America is fighting two wars for freedom: one external, one internal. The internal war because Americans have forgotten the source of their freedom is Jefferson’s “Creator,” while the shedding of blood still remains the price of that freedom.
Pearl Harbor, even after 72 years, is a continual reminder for freedom-loving people everywhere that America must always remain diligent.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.