No. 1000



On Dec. 7 of each year, our nation celebrates a Day of Remembrance that we call Pearl Harbor Day. It was on this day in 1941 that the Japanese attacked our Naval Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with the loss of 2,403 Americans killed and another 1,178 wounded. Most of our warships were either sunk or heavily damaged. The following day, war was proclaimed.
Of course, most Americans know the rest of the story, but what follows is something that may not be common knowledge. This is a very important part of our nation’s history, because without victory in World War II, we would not be a free nation today, thus the reason we celebrate this important day.
On the evening of the attack, Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington, D.C., and he was paged for a phone call from President Franklin Roosevelt, who told him he was now the commander of the Pacific Fleet. It turned out to be a very fateful phone call. He flew to Hawaii and landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, Admiral Nimitz was given a boat tour of the battle scene, with big sunken battleships and naval vessels cluttering the waters everywhere he looked.
As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well, Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?” Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. He said “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes any attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.”
This question please: What do you think the mistakes were? The Admiral explained:
“Mistake number one: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every 10 crewman of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
“Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking all those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. I already have crews ashore, anxious to man those ships.
“Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in the top of the ground storage tanks five miles over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.” Much of this information was taken from articles on the Internet.
(Just a little personal side note here: Just think we have people in our country today who want to take God out of our military.)
When he chose Admiral Chester Nimitz to lead the Pacific Fleet, President Roosevelt had certainly chosen the right man for the job. We desperately needed a leader who could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat. There is a reason our national motto is “In God We Trust.”
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)