December 8, 1941

December 7, 1941 is the date that lives in infamy, but December 8, 1941 is the date when America started to pick itself off the ground. The Pacific Fleet’s battleships lay in ruin. Oil burned on the harbor. Rescuers desperately attempted to help trapped sailors in the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Marines and Army troops fought futile battles in the Philippines, Guam and Wake Island. Germany had yet to declare war on the U.S. but three days later, the country would be sucked into that conflict, too. I’m not sure how Franklin Roosevelt and all the military leaders handled December 8th. Being in the fetal position would’ve been most people’s choice, I’m sure.

But we looked around and saw what we still had going for us. The Japanese did not hit the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers. They were out at sea. Fuel tanks and dry docks were also untouched. Within a few months, all but three battleships (the U.S.S. Arizona and U.S.S. Utah still remain in the harbor, the U.S.S. Oklahoma was raised for salvage) had been raised and sent back to war. Aviation legend Jimmy Doolittle and his raiders sent Japan a message when they bombed the mainland with their surprise attack. Marines stopped the Japanese in Guadalcanal. U.S. Carrier planes turned the tide of the war in Midway. The rest is history.

December 8th, though was truly the turning point. We had been punched in the mouth. We could have folded or fought. We chose to fight.

Think about this in your own life. You get punched in the mouth by life. What do you do? Complain? Whine? Fold? Quit? Or do you look around, see what you have in your favor and fight back?

It’s a good question to ask yourself.

But for right now, I salute the remaining Americans who fought back after Pearl Harbor. You went through Hell and returned forged tougher than steel.

About Marshall Ramsey