Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

How the bravery of those who fought in World War II inspires a military mom today.

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Posted in , Dec 4, 2017

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941. There are fewer and fewer Americans who experienced the impact of that day although many of us have seen movies about it. But how many are still alive who fought in the conflict spawned by Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor?

Not me. But my father-in-law, Claude, served during World War II. And while he didn’t have much to share about that time—except that war wasn’t something to be glorified—we have managed to piece together some of his involvement.

He entered the Army in 1943 as a private, while still in college. Before he left the service in 1946—at the rank of first lieutenant—he’d been awarded two Purple Hearts, one Silver Star and one Bronze Star. But we could never get him to talk about how he came to receive those medals.

But through research, we discovered why he was so decorated. It happened at the Battle of the Bulge, after he’d been promoted to lieutenant. During the fighting, several wounded men had ended up in the middle of a minefield, unable to make their way out. Instead of waiting for help, Claude took off for the nearest man. He hefted him to his shoulders and carried him back to safety. Again and again, he repeated this heroic action. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how many men he carried out of harm’s way. But many are alive today because of his willingness to act in face of death. 

As I look into the stories of those who fought in World War II, I see this kind of bravery demonstrated again and again. It challenges me to greater efforts in my ordinary, everyday life and here’s why:

1.  I want to make sure that sacrifices like those of my late father-in-law matter. I want to honor them by continuing to make this world a safer place.

2.  I’m reminded of God’s sacrifice for each of us. Unless we tell others of His great love, they too will be stranded and cut off from the help He so graciously offers.

This special day is receiving less and less commemoration. So today, let’s change that. Remind yourself, and those around you, that we live in this great country because of the individual sacrifices made during that time. Take heart because that legacy is continuing in the young men and women in our military today. They are still willing to face death so that others might live.

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