Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of the U.S. Naval fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii December 7, 1941. Not unlike today when we are aware we live in perilous times, people are scurrying around preparing for Christmas, just as they were on that day when 2400 or more U.S. citizens perished without notice. Even though we know years later those in harm’s way had not been notified in time, some were ready, with or without notice.
During the heat of battle as the infamous U.S.S. Arizona was sinking in the narrow harbor only one heavy cruise ship the Phoenix escaped out to sea. Why? Because the crew was ready! I know this because my uncle served on the U.S.S. Phoenix that day and told us stories of the incessant bombing, of fires everywhere, and of the young sailors who had to be tossed overboard in the hope of their surviving in the water. But he also told us how he and his crew were ready. Despite being a peaceful Sunday, it seemed to others, they were on guard. They were prepared, and they acted decisively and swiftly to avoid disaster.