Advent — Waiting for Christmas
A Note About Pearl Harbor
By Jeff Salter
We’re blogging this week about Advent.
Not being Catholic, I had only a general notion that Advent was part of the Christmas Holiday season, but did not actually know what it was about. [I grew up in Baptist churches where I don’t recall much (if any) emphasis on Advent.] So I had to look it up. Thanks to Wikipedia:
“Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning ‘coming’.”
Certainly, as a Christian, I do look forward to the annual observance of Christ’s birth (even though historians maintain Jesus was likely born during the warm months rather than on Dec. 25th). As a grown-up, I enjoy the excitement I see in our grandkids as that BIG DAY approaches. Of course, they’re mainly thinking about receiving gifts. LOL
And I remember, as a kid, how I spent many weeks leading up to Christmas … poring over the Sears Christmas Gift Catalog and wondering / hoping I’d actually get something I wanted.
Day of Infamy
On a completely different note, let me observe that Saturday will be the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and nearby military installations. I’ve met a lady whose husband was in that conflagration and she described his horror and struggle to escape the below-decks compartments of his ship.
One of my wife’s uncles was stationed at Hickam Field on that Day of Infamy and his airstrip received lots of bombs and machine gun strafing. He was blown out of his boots by a nearby explosion … and his buddy – just a few feet away – was killed by that blast.
Without the attack at Pearl, World War II may have had a very different complexion. Even though there was a lot of stress in the diplomatic and economic relationship between America and Japan, there was only a sense that eventual war was possible — though certainly not inevitable. Many believed terms could be arranged which would have lessened the tension between both nations. But after this sneak attack, America – logically – acknowledged it was at war with Japan.
Since Germany and Japan had a treaty of mutual protection, the state of war between America and Japan meant Germany was obliged to declare war on America also. Which Hitler did. So America – logically – acknowledged it was also at war with Germany.
By that point the European war between Germany (& Italy) against France, England, Russia, and numerous other countries — had been going on for nearly two years. America had been providing logistical support and equipment to its allies, but had not put boots on the ground.
Pearl Harbor day changed all that.