On June 1, or only 6 months ago, I wrote a blog post which began as follows-
After Shavuot and Shabbat, I caught up on the latest news and was shocked but not surprised. What began as a violent protest against the killing of a black man named George Floyd aged 46 in Minneapolis on Monday of last week, quickly spread like wildfire across the US.
The pictures of broken glass and fires raging out of control across not only Minneapolis and St. Paul, but many other American cities, reminded me of the fires and broken glass across Germany during Kristallnacht 81 years ago, while watching TV films of World War II with my Dad as a young boy.
December 7, 1941 And My Dad
Those TV films I watched bring back memories which will be forever replayed on every December 7 in my mind. But for my father, that day had a very special meaning. After WWII broke out, Dad joined the Navy. He could not swim; but whether or not he was able to, the Navy still urgently needed him.
After basic training, he still was not totally confident in the water. He was a qualified electrician, and his skill was in high demand, which landed him on the deck of a small US Navy ship manning the spotlight searching for enemy aircraft.
In my humble opinion, it is a miracle I am here today to tell this story because logic dictates that the first target enemy aircraft aim for is the spotlight on any ship. My Dad, I am sure, knew that too, so I am proud of the service he gave to the US Navy during WWII.
I remember seeing pictures of him in his Navy uniform while stationed in Hawaii. I do not remember if he ever had the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor while there, but I know that was his lifetime dream to return to Pearl Harbor.
My Dad’s Dream Came True
While living in South Africa, I heard from my parents that Dad was getting his wish. They had booked to fly to Hawaii on a well- deserved vacation. According to their itinerary, the highlight of their trip was a day devoted to visiting Pearl Harbor. I could hear the excitement in both their voices as they were about to leave Minneapolis for their long-awaited journey.
The USS Arizona Memorial At Pearl Harbor
The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the United States’ involvement in World War II.
After my parents’ trip, I asked Dad how it was standing on the memorial to all those heroes who gave their lives defending the USA. He was clearly touched by that experience and I am positive he remembered it clearly for the rest of his life.
After all, those were fellow sailors who perished aboard that ship and many other ships during WWII. Dad clearly had a special place in his heart for all those men who perished that day.
You can see the plans for this year’s memorial by clicking on the link below-
Kristallnacht And COVID-19
In the opening paragraphs to this Blog, I mention that with the death of George Floyd, the protests, looting, fires and destruction which began in Minneapolis quickly spread throughout America and beyond. That reminded me of the pictures of Kristallnacht. But it also reminded me of the destruction the Japanese caused to the US Navy that fateful day.
And taking it a step forward, it’s now COVID-19 that is spreading like wildfire throughout the US. The physical destruction to US cities at that time is minor compared to the loss of lives causes by COVID-19 now. According to many sources, it has now become the Number One killer in the US.
The Question Is When Will COVID-19 Be Eliminated?
No human being can provide that answer. A time like this demands our trust that G-d is in full control and we must put our faith in Hashem.