My Father pictured here in this 1942 Navy photo did not talk much about his days in WWII. We know he was a flag man (aka Landing Signal Officer) on an ocean carrier and helped land planes. Normally I don’t think much about what it must have been like for him and the many others that fought to save our country from the mad men in Germany and Japan, but this year it is different. It is different because we have a President running our country who has reached out to Japan regarding the act that ended the war, to a country whose leaders at the time cost the lives of millions of people and many of the 420,000 Americans killed. It has made me ponder my gratitude towards what he and others did, while questioning just what kind of world do we live in.
I cannot imagine what it must have been like for my Father sitting on a boat in the middle of the ocean wondering when and if one of the 7000+ known Kamikaze flights may have made its way to his ship. Reading from the stories written by those who experienced this shocking (read here) fear I am horrified just thinking about it. And to think, the possibility is very high that I wouldn’t be here to write about it today, had he not been fortunate to survive. I am grateful for all he and the many soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Seventy years later we are supposed to feel bad for the people of Hiroshima. It does provide a dueling doubt moment, but when contrasted up against their leaders that started a war with us by flying airplanes into buildings and ships killing innocent people, it is hard to grasp concern for those victims, but they like the Pearl Harbor victims were not asking for it. The contrast of what happened on September 11, 2001 is similar in its tactic of terrorism. The evil men that devised plans for suicide pilots to crash planes as weapons shows a willingness to do anything beyond logic. It is very difficult to understand how they not only performed these individual acts but had previously shown cowardly acts that mimic what ISIS and other terrorists groups are doing today.
Read here if you can stomach the savagery of what the Japanese Imperialist leadership did to millions of people including to American soldiers. It is no wonder my Father and others who served at this time did not talk about what it was like during the war.
Today I stand thankful to my Father and to all who have served to fight for our freedom. I am grateful to my God who for some reason protected him so that I can enjoy the freedoms he fought for and to be here to write about it today. Seventy years ago he stood with flags on a ship helping pilots land their planes on a ship in the middle of the ocean. It may seem like a minimal role, but putting his own life on the line and fighting through the fear of what could happen, had to be terrifying. Thanks for all you, and so many others did for me, Dad!
Understanding war is difficult. It would be nice to just wave a red flag, like my Dad put up in the air to direct a plane to land on a ship, and say stop it so all of it would end. Dropping a nuke on a bunch of people so they see the power you have does seem ludicrous, but at the time there were few options available to ending a war with an evil empire. I cannot even try to explain why it is so prevalent in our world without sounding like a crazy person. Yes crazy to those who think there is no evil vs good war going on. But since our President has pointed out that what happened in Hiroshima and the war was evil in and of itself, perhaps it may open the eyes to those who think it foolishness.
A guy named Paul was sitting in a prison, put there by enemies, not of his but of God’s. You see Paul had a message of peace to bring, but it was not the type of peace people wanted to hear. He was talking about peace with God. He wrote to the people who lived in Ephesus (modern-day Turkey) that: (Eph 6:12-14) ‘We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
The war was won the day Jesus died on the cross who defeated death by rising from the dead; not the WW1, WW2, the Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, or any other on this earth – in this dark world, . The battle He won was a spiritual one defeating evil. It is the war that matters the most that too few can see. It is a war that today billions do not understand and sadly in this, a nation that has been blessed by God is so many ways, country has lost sight of the real war.
It is one we must fight for more than any other, not with a sword or guns or nuclear bombs, but with the armor of God must we stand. Here on Memorial Day I am also grateful to the veterans of faith, whose stories are summarized in Hebrews 11 from the old testament. They set the pace for what Christians have today and was shown in power in the Portico. – Read about what took place there in the About section of Average Joe’s Portico.
Jesus gave the power to win the battles and wars we face in this dark world and it only began with what is described in the book of Acts. We are the new veterans that should be guiding with our flags to help those who are looking to land safely. May you find peace in the midst of this dark world.
Certainly all answers cannot be found in one reading, email me at JoesPortico@Gmail.com if you would like more information.