Last year when visiting Pearl Harbor, my wife, Jennifer and I were impressed with all that transpired during the war in the Pacific. The visit instilled us with a sense of patriotism that is sometimes hard to come by in these times. We enjoy looking at historical monuments and documents that have been untainted by revisionists and see what truly made and still makes our country unique and great. We were able to see the U.S.S. Arizona memorial from the inside and out and later able to fly over in a helicopter. This memorial paled in comparison to the U.S.S. Missouri however, in my book.
I most enjoyed visiting the actual site where the Japanese surrendered to the Allied forces in the Pacific, bringing the second world war to a close. The rest of the ship was interesting to tour, especially seeing the different air squadrons that flew and the history of the ship after the war.
Below is an exerpt of one of Winston Churchill's most famous speeches on our duty as a nation:
The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is here now, clear and shining for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall guide and rule the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement.
When American military men approach some serious situation they are wont to write at the head of their directive the words "over-all strategic concept." There is wisdom in this, as it leads to clarity of thought. What then is the over-all strategic concept which we should inscribe today? It is nothing less than the safety and welfare, the freedom and progress, of all the homes and families of all the men and women in all the lands. And here I speak particularly of the myriad cottage or apartment homes where the wage-earner strives amid the accidents and difficulties of life to guard his wife and children from privation and bring the family up in the fear of the Lord, or upon ethical conceptions which often play their potent part.
To give security to these countless homes, they must be shielded from the two giant marauders, war and tyranny. We all know the frightful disturbances in which the ordinary family is plunged when the curse of war swoops down upon the bread-winner and those for whom he works and contrives. The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, and of large parts of Asia glares us in the eyes. When the designs of wicked men or the aggressive urge of mighty States dissolve over large areas the frame of civilized society, humble folk are confronted with difficulties with which they cannot cope. For them all is distorted, all is broken, even ground to pulp.
When I stand here this quiet afternoon I shudder to visualize what is actually happening to millions now and what is going to happen in this period when famine stalks the earth. None can compute what has been called "the unestimated sum of human pain." Our supreme task and duty is to guard the homes of the common people from the horrors and miseries of another war. We are all agreed on that.
Memorial Day is a day to remember what our veterans have done to allow us to live and prosper in the United States of America. We are a country that was founded and made great by core principals which we should strive to achieve and continue to embrace.