Sunday, December 18, 2005

I Was Deeply Saddened to Read This!

My friend Irvin sent the following email to me. I was so deeply saddened to read this!! In August of 2004, some members of my family and I had visited the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.. I am a fellow baby boomer, and, like the author of the following story, I did not realize that the quote by President Roosevelt had been changed at the Memorial.

Do the secularists always have to take God out of the picture??

This is truly unfortunate. It is a travesty of justice, a slap in the face of a great President's freedom of speech rights, and a stomping upon the beliefs of millions of people who honored God and lived during this time in history!

What a mockery this is... to keep such an important part of an historical quote out of the engraved monument!

It is nothing less than a deliberate distortion of history and should NOT be tolerated. Why is an incomplete quote made by Roosevelt allowed at this memorial site?? It should be IMMEDIATELY corrected!!

Read and weep, my friends. This is the evidence of "political correctness" gone mad...



Today I went to visit the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I got an unexpected history lesson. Because I'm a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, veterans of "the greatest war," with their families. It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there.

Hundreds of us milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman that are engraved there. On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor:

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941-- a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked."

One elderly woman read the words aloud:

"With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph."

But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. "Wait a minute," she said, "they left out the end of the quote!" They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with "so help us God."

Her husband said, "You are probably right. We're not supposed to say things like that now."

"I know I'm right," she insisted. "I remember the speech."

The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away. Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, "Well, it has been over 50 years. She's probably forgotten."

But she had not forgotten. She was right.

I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading--- "Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley. It's all about the battle at Iwo Jima. I haven't gotten too far in the book. It's tough to read because it's a graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific. But right there it was on page 58. Roosevelt's speech to the nation ends in "so help us God." The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war. But they could not fool the people who were there. Roosevelt's words are engraved on their hearts.



It has been brought to my attention that apparently, some view this email letter as an "urban legend." I have not had the time to thoroughly read through the post at that site yet, (Christmas activities; guests) but it appears that "so help us God" was said by Roosevelt later in his speech. My apologies for the incorrect assertion that it was left out of the WWII Memorial.

With that said, I STILL think that leaving this portion out was a mistake. I see it as the most important comment of Roosevelt's speech; and, it would have been a blessing to have had it included at the memorial. What could possibly be more important in a time of war than asking for God's help?

1 comment:

Susan Smith said...

WHO indeed?

God loves us so much that HE gives every individual a free will, including the freedom to deny His Son as well as the freedom to change historical words a president spoke. How often I forget the truth.

Yours in Christ from Jerusalem.(ss)