Sermon Illustrations

Pearl Harbor! The morning of December 7, 1941, found 353 Japanese airplanes swarming all around the Harbor site. Within a couple of hours, America lost 8 big battleships, 6 major airfields, almost all planes, and 2,400 men. That happened at 7:50 AM in what was supposedly a surprised attack. But these are the startling facts:

That morning at 7 AM, while the Japanese warplanes were 137 miles (50 minutes) away, two US soldiers on a small radar station in the Pacific scanned the screen and saw dots and dots appearing, until the whole screen was filled. These soldiers notified their youthful supervisor, a lieutenant. No other officer was around, that being a Sunday.

The lieutenant thought these must be planes from California, and without another thought, said these crucial words: “Don’t worry about it.” There would have been time to scramble the planes at Pearl Harbor, prepare the battleships and shelter the men, but this lieutenant, at the most responsible moment of his career, failed the nation.