Saturday, March 17, 2012


Seventy years ago, Japanese forces attacked American battleships at Pearl Harbor, initiating a conflict that ended only when America delivered the horrifying retribution of two atom bombs.

One year ago, American battleships raced across the pacific to bring aid to tsunami victims in Japan.

Yesterday morning I took my children to the USS Arizona Memorial. It was absolutely stunning what destruction a few minutes of modern warfare can bring. All of those horrible giant war machines scared me, theirs or ours it didn't matter. Amazing giant hunks of metal meant to kill you. As my children and I walked through the museum displays I learned that during World War II, every person in Hawaii was issued a gas mask and had to carry it everywhere. The children carried them to school every day for three years. It made me wonder what we'll have to do next time.

And then last night I took my daughter to a Bless4 concert. Bless4 is a Japanese pop group, four siblings who lived in the United States for several years while their dad went to college at my very own alma mater, Brigham Young University, before the family moved back to Okinawa. The group was so good, super-fun to watch. And near the end of their program, they showed us this video:

The most beautiful thing in the film, for me, was to see those American battleships coming not to hurt, but to heal.

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.

God bless America, God bless Japan!


Kathy said...

God bless the peacemakers wherever they are found in every nation!!

Jonene Ficklin said...

That made me teary! Wow, so good to see more than just the devastation, but the good that happened. Thanks for sharing the clip!

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

Thanks for the comments! I was really grateful to bless4 for sharing this with us, and telling us their story of feeling the quake in Tokyo, then traveling north to help with clean-up after the tsunami. They carried dozens of soaked tatami (Japanese floor mats) out of people's houses. They talked about how amazing it was that the people all worked together and got things cleaned up so fast.