«My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.» 2 SAMUEL 22:3, 4, NIV
While traveling in Hawaii, we decided to visit the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. Pearl Harbor is the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked the base, immediately bringing the United States into World War II. During the attack, several warships were destroyed, and a bunch more were damaged; in addition, many aircraft were destroyed and about twenty-three hundred servicemen died. About half of the people who died were on board the USS Arizona, a battleship that was bombed from the sky, exploding while it sat in the harbor. As a way to remember this dark day, it was decided that the sunken USS Arizona would remain submerged and a memorial would be built above it.
When we arrived, we boarded a small boat that took us out to the memorial. Everyone on the boat was silent as we passed over the waters where 1,177 crewmen from the Arizona died during the attack. Once at the memorial, we saw the names of the crewmen, and just under the surface of the water, we could see the wreck of the USS Arizona. Part of one of the gun turrets was still above water. Even though it’s been resting there for about seventy-five years, the memorial stands as a reminder of the crewmen who were willing to give their lives in the name of freedom.
Freedom is wonderful, but sometimes we forget that it’s not free. Thank GOD today for the servicemen and women who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect your freedom today. And if you know one personally thank them too!