On Wednesday, December 7, the United States commemorates the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on our forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the Imperial Japanese Navy. That attack killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others — and was the direct cause of our nation entering into World War II. It was, according to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “a date which will live in infamy.”
This past June, I presided over the Southern Baptist Convention as President. In this setting in St. Louis, I wanted to highlight the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor reminds us of the priority our own nation’s security.
In this moment of deep reflection about Pearl Harbor, I was humbled to be able to introduce and bring honor to Mr. Bill McAnany, a native of Wood River, Illinois. He is one of an estimated 2,000 remaining Pearl Harbor veterans who witnessed firsthand the attacks on December 7, 1941.
Bill joined the Navy in 1938 and, after basic training, received advanced training as a hospital corpsman. He was assigned aboard the USS Solace, a 400-bed hospital ship that arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on October 27, 1941, where it would remain until the fateful events that unfolded on December 7, 1941.
On that historic morning in Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, Bill and some of his friends were enjoying a beautiful Sunday morning. Then, the first wave of attacks upon Pearl Harbor began. They quickly worked their way to Ford Island, which was hit in the attacks, and turned the camp dispensary into a hospital. For the next two days, they provided emergency medical care to the injured and dying until they were finally relieved of their duties and able to return to their ship.
The attack on Pearl Harbor changed Bill’s view on life forever. After seeing countless critically wounded troops fighting for their breath just to stay alive, he learned the value of a human life. To quote Bill from an interview, “You quickly realize that life is a gift not meant to be wasted.” On this December 7, Bill and his wife Nancy will be in Pearl Harbor together to remember that day of infamy, but also to celebrate Bill’s 95th birthday and their 45th anniversary together.
Pearl Harbor is a constant reminder that our freedom, purchased by the blood of American patriots, should never be taken for granted. May we forever be grateful to God for our citizenship in a land where the sunlight of liberty shines from shore to shore. May we forever give thanks to those who laid down their lives for freedom’s cause. And, may we always remember and honor those who fought, died, and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. We owe a priceless debt to the men and women who gave their full measure of devotion to duty on December 7th, 1941 as well as throughout all wars. May the passing of time never dim the glory of their deeds and the legacy they left behind.
We must never forget the tragedy that occurred in our nation 75 years ago this Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Since that moment, America has never been the same. It still serves as a reminder of the priority of America’s national security. But even more importantly, as we reflect upon and remember this tragedy, we also need to look to the future with great hope, knowing that the sacrifices at Pearl Harbor are largely responsible for keeping America the greatest country in the world.
For all the families who have lost their loved ones in the line of great duty to defend our nation, we pray for God’s peace to be upon you in your deep loss. For all of those who have served our nation, thank you. For anyone serving our nation today in our own land or across the world, our hearts are overwhelmed and blessed with gratefulness for your sacrifice for the protection of our nation.
I love America.
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email email@example.com.
Sunday Will be a Huge Day at Cross Church
In all Sunday morning worship services, we will continue our series Unwrapping the Gifts of Christmas. Then on Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m., we will experience Cross Church Christmas 2016, led by our Worship Ministries from all campuses. We will have a second performance on Monday evening, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. Choose one of these evenings and bring others with you. Last year, thousands attended and we believe it has potential to be full both evenings, so plan now to join us. Go here to watch an encouraging invitation for this Christmas experience and share it with a friend.
Generosity is a Real and Living Part of the Christmas Season
Before the final minute of 2016, be sure you and your family have honored the Lord with at least one tenth of all God has given to you. From any or all monies received this year from salary, bonuses, stocks, dividends, properties, or any other income, let’s be sure we end the year honoring God with at least the first tenth of all He has given to us. In addition to this, let’s join together to give a very special gift to our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Last year we gave the largest sum we have ever given to this offering. As well, if God has blessed you in an extra special way, remember our Reaching Our Mission offering, which funds our Cross Church School of Ministry, church planting nationally and internationally, as well as additional assistance for missionaries globally. As you pray and obey the Lord, we will pray God will bless you bountifully. You can quickly and easily give online here.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services and Christmas Day Worship and Communion Services
We are looking forward to Christmas at Cross Church! This year, we have the added blessing of Christmas Day being on the Lord’s Day. Therefore, we will have two distinct services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Saturday, December 24, join us for our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship services.
- Chapel on the Creeks – 1:00 p.m.
- Fayetteville – 3:30 & 5:00 p.m.
- Springdale – 4:00 p.m. (Spanish Service – 5:00 p.m.)
- Pinnacle Hills – 5:00 p.m.
- Neosho – 5:00 p.m.
On Sunday, December 25, do not miss our Christmas Day Worship and Communion services. If you must choose only one to attend, make it this one. It will be special to celebrate the birth of Christ on the Lord’s Day. We will also be having a special time of baptism at each of our campuses that morning. You can find more information here.
- Fayetteville – 9:00 & 10:30 a.m.
- Springdale – 9:15 a.m. (Spanish Service – 10:30 a.m.)
- Pinnacle Hills – 10:30 a.m.
- Fayetteville East – 10:30 a.m.
- Neosho – 10:30 a.m.
We would love to see you on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Make plans now to attend, and begin to invite others to attend with you.
When Disappointment Comes
Earlier this week, I released an article entitled, “When Disappointment Comes.” It may encourage your life, so I hope you will take a couple of minutes to read it and share with a friend.
I Look Forward to Seeing You Sunday at Cross Church!
Ronnie W. Floyd