These words evoke an incredible range of emotions for millions of people every year around this time. Even for those of us who were not yet living, or even our parents for that matter, they strike an instant chord to something deep inside us.
When FDR said those words 75 years ago I seriously wonder if he would believe what I did today would have ever been possible.
I am currently in Guam participating in Operation Christmas Drop as the Mission Planning Chief for the exercise. If you don’t know what this is look it up on YouTube because there are some amazing videos.
In short, it is an operation to deliver supplies and Christmas presents to the people of Micronesia and the Marianas islands utilizing C-130s to airdrop these much needed supplies. This is the 65th installment of the operation and it gets more awesome every year.
What made today special for me was the magnitude of what I was able to witness. You see, 75 years after that infamous day, I was part of an operation where American and Japanese military members flew on each other’s aircraft to deliver goodwill and happiness to people across the islands of the Pacific.
Two nations that fought bitterly so many years ago teamed up, along with our Australian brothers and sisters, to drop not bombs but food, gifts, and other vital supplies to people they will never meet in person. In one day they delivered nearly 10,000 pounds of cargo in a joint operation that demonstrates the amazing relationship we have developed.
As I lay here about to go to sleep almost 75 years to the hour that Pearl Harbor was attacked, I almost cannot fathom the magnitude of what took place today, yesterday, and will again tomorrow.
In a world that can so often be viciously divided it was awe inspiring to see how much good former enemies can do when we unite together for the greater good. May we all take a minute today to remember those that were lost, but also take a minute to find our own battles that we can bring to a peaceful resolution.
If the flag of the rising sun and the stars and stripes can literally fly together after all they endured three quarters of a century ago, then any quarrel can be settled and instead good deeds can be done.