Thanks and blessings to all who have served our country today. Here’s a bit of history if you did not already know it:
It was Sunday, December 7th, 1941–Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington, DC. He was paged to the phone and it was president Roosevelt. He told Admiral Nimitz what had happened at Pearl Harbor and that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Nimitz made arrangements and flew immediately to Hawaii. When he landed at Pearl Harbor, there was such a spirit of despair, dejection, and defeat that you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
Admiral Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere he looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”
His reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which one do you think it was?”
Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?” Nimitz explained…
Mistake #1: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk–we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake #2: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea before we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
Mistake #3: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is above ground in the storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.
This story is a great testament to the power of positive thinking and optimism. Admiral Nimitz was able to see a “silver lining” in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeat. President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see the “silver linings”.
Optimists tend to view hardships as hardcore learning experiences but only temporary setbacks. Even the most miserable day holds the possibility that tomorrow could be much better!
Have a great Pearl Harbor day, and God bless America!