A few years back I called several newspapers on December 7, and asked if they knew what day it was. The reporters didn't know it was Pearl Harbor Day. Of course, even fewer remember Victory in Europe (VE) Day or VJ Day or other days of remembrance.
How contradictory that the world seeks peace by waging war. The horrors of war were made painfully clear with World War I and World War II. But the world continues to seek peace through conflicts and armed battles. Aren't we all looking for the day when the whole world will have a truly peaceful environment in which to live a happy, enjoyable life?
Rather than relying on peace treaties, what if all the world followed the Golden Rule? It certainly appears there would be a much, much more peaceful world if all the "war lords" would use the Golden Rule as a daily guide and settle their differences in more peaceful ways.
General Douglas MacArthur understood the answers to these questions at the end of World War II when he spoke aboard the USS Missouri September 2, 1945: "Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always."
He declared: "We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."
In all, we need to honor God on these days of remembrance--Pearl Harbor Day, VE Day, VJ Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and Armistice Day--because of His giving us victory. We also honor the tremendous sacrifices Americans have made to try to bring about peace and keep America and the rest of the world free. Each time we remember these days of war and victory, we can remember the words of General MacArthur and the fact that war doesn't really make a peaceful world. More than that, we can look to the Book that teaches the Golden Rule and the true way to peace.
Dean Rammelsberg served aboard the USS Goshen in the Pacific from December 13, 1944, until the end of the war.