Was the giant caught sleeping?
By Bill Shepard
Some of us can remember Dec. 7, 1941.
That was the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would live in infamy. The small island nation, Japan, had made a daring surprise attack on America.
A large part of the U.S. Navy was anchored in the calm waters of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was a quiet Sunday morning. From out of nowhere, it must have seemed, the enemy came raining down destruction and within hours a large part of the fleet lay in smoldering ruin and another part lay at the bottom of the harbor.
The attack had been well planned and was carried out to almost perfection. Our Navy was taken by complete surprise! Our folk at the White House were taken by surprise! The cost of that surprise is still being paid today and in various ways.
As the victorious Japanese fleet returned homeward after the successful attack, one of its admirals spoke words that are immortal. Said Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve.”
Thinking of the happenings of that day and the days that followed, I asked myself the question, “Was the giant caught sleeping again?”
I was a young man when the attack at Pearl Harbor was made, and I recall the results that followed. How could such a thing have happened? The admiral had been right, the giant was caught sleeping.
Is that what happened recently when the enemy, coronavirus (COVID-19), made the surprise attack on America? Did it catch the giant off guard? The answer must be, “Yes, it did!”
While we were boasting of having the greatest economy, the greatest military, etc., a different kind of enemy made a surprise attack and caught us woefully unprepared! Our hospitals, nursing homes and health care workers did not have the supplies that were needed to take care of the sick and dying. That should be inexcusable for a nation as rich as ours.
Yes, it is true that such supplies are now being made and are on their way to where they are needed. I recall a statement out of my past: “The time to prepare for war is in the time of peace.”
The giant is awake and great minds are at work, searching for a victorious end to this war with the coronavirus. There is no doubt that it will be found, but it will be too late for the thousands who have already died, and the battle is long from being over!
I do not know where the blame lies, and it does not profit anything to point fingers. It does seem that the appointed watchmen would have seen the enemy, coronavirus, approaching and would have sounded an alarm immediately!
Already, we are being told that there may be others in our future, even as early as the coming fall and winter. Will the giant be caught sleeping again? We should all pray that we will not be! The cost is far too great.