Seventy-one years ago today the Japanese navy, led by 36 year-old "top gun" pilot of his day, Mitsuo Fuchida, attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise was nearly total and the destruction was immense both physically as well as to the psyche of the United States. The Japanese admiralty expected that such devastation would compel the United States to sue for peace and stay out of their plans for expansion in the Pacific. Instead, our nation was filled with a "terrible resolve." Our reaction was not to surrender but to get even. The death and destruction (on all sides) that spread across the Pacific and around the world was nearly incalculable. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of men and women went to their deaths for reasons that, even now, are difficult to explain.
For his part, Mitsuo Fuchida, was plagued by the death that he had witnessed and that which he had been a part of and he struggled to find a way to bring a message of peace to the world. A friend who had been a prisoner of war in the United States, told him an amazing, almost impossible, story that revealed a way toward peace. Later still he encountered the message of Jacob DeShazer, a B-25 bombardier captured by the Japanese after the Doolittle raid. DeShazer, despite being treated horrifically during his imprisonment, had learned an amazing lesson as well during his confinement. He traveled to Japan and spoke in venues across the country telling of the peace that he had found in their POW camp.
Nathan Naversen has written a great story about this and I used it as a devotion at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting this morning. It is an amazing story of peace and forgiveness that grew out of ome of history's greatest periods of death and destruction. How is this possible? Read the whole story here:
From Pearl Harbor to Golgotha