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On September 1, 1923, the island of Japan was ravaged by the most devastating earthquake in recorded history up until that time. The tragic Canto earthquake began at 11:58 A.M. and continued for more than three and a half hours, creating a casualty list that would stagger the imagination. 143,000 were killed. More than 100,000 lay maimed, wounded, and dying in the streets of Yokohama alone.

Ours is a sympathetic nation and the great heart of America was touched. In a matter of hours an entire convoy of mercy ships was on the high seas headed for the stricken island. We equipped those ships the latest in medical supplies, food and clothing and staffed them with a corp of volunteer workers, doctors and nurses to minister to the needs of the helpless millions. Over ten million dollars in cash was also dispatched to alleviate the distress of the victimized.

As the broken little nation set about to rebuild her empire, in appreciation for such help from abroad, a famous five-word cablegram was received at the White House. It was signed by the Emperor himself. It read simply, "America, we will not forget."

Less than a generation later the whole world was stunned by another cataclysmic and even more disastrous tragedy. It was December 7, 1941. The first light of dawn was just breaking over the peaceful Hawaiian Islands where at anchor lay the vast American fleet, when the drone of fighter planes was heard in the sky. Out of the blue, hurtling at lightning speed on wings of death, came the men from "The Kingdom of the Rising Sun." They were bent on destruction, annihilation, extermination.

Relentlessly they pursued their attack. Battleship after battleship turned belly up and sank. Sailors were strafed as they attempted to swim to safety. Oil-soaked victims screamed in a caldron of liquid fire. Two thousand eight hundred of our boys were sent to watery graves in the most savage attack that our nation had every experienced by an aggressor. Just eighteen short years after our mercy ships steamed into Tokyo Bay with American good-will, came Pearl Harbor.

Japan had forgotten!!!

What a price that comes when we forget how far God has brought us and what he has delivered us from?

(From a sermon by Philip Harrelson, "Daddy, Please Don’t Rebuild Jericho" 1/30/2009)

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