Franklin D. Roosevelt told the Teamsters Union Convention, September 11, 1940:
“I stand, with my party…on the platform…adopted in Chicago… It said: ‘We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our Army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, EXCEPT IN CASE OF ATTACK.'”
On DECEMBER 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. 350 Japanese aircraft sank as well as 5 American battleships and 3 destroyers, and 400 U.S. aircraft were destroyed. Over 4000 were killed or wounded. Subsequent investigations revealed numerous warnings were disregarded by the administration.
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: “DECEMBER 7, 1941- a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” He added: “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory…
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We will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.” FDR continued: “Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.” -From “American Minute” December 7, 2015 by Bill Federer
Now turn the calendar from December 7, 1941 to August 6 and 9, 1945 for the “Rest of the Story.”
“Seventy years ago the war with Japan ended because of the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9. Although around 200,000 lives were lost in the two cities, far more lives were saved as Japan finally offered an unconditional surrender.
“Those bombings were certainly controversial, and we have debated the military and moral merits of them ever since. I have tried to follow the debate somewhat over the years, and I remain convinced that as hellish as any such attacks might be, these two bombings were morally licit, and spared us far more bloodshed and destruction.” Bill Muehlenberg, Aug. 10, 2015
As soon as Pearl Harbor was bombed, American young men flocked to sign up to fight in our military and others were drafted to protect our nation that was now at war. Some were not eligible for the draft because of various reasons and one young man in particular was not because he had 3 dependents; a wife, and two very young children. But as the war continued, he had a heart to do what he could to help America and in time found a way.
In early 1943, he was apprised of a special secretive government project which needed men with various qualifications. His being an electronics technician met one of the qualifications. So he applied, had an extensive background check (which was required for all applicants), and was accepted. He moved his little family from Miami, FL to the formerly little town of Oak Ridge, TN.
The town was quickly changing: Because so many people were rapidly moving into the town, the government had to quickly provide housing. This was done with prefabricated houses, models A, B, C, D, etc. A fence was built around the town, which formerly was a farming area. Everyone living there was now required to have identification. Whenever they left and then re-entered the town they had to show it to guards at the gates. Whoa to any airplane that flew over the fence! That plane would immediately be met by several military planes to “escort” it back over the town fence.
Oak Ridge by now had a number of unique qualities. There was little crime in this area, obviously because of extensive background checks of new people who moved to the town. While formerly, the farm people probably shared often about their crops, and their other work, they had to be selective now about what they talked about. No one, absolutely no one, was allowed to speak about what went on at this government place where most of the people were working!
The young man from Miami, FL was a self-educated electronic technician and his job was to keep watch over electronic equipment at Y-12, where he worked. He had a brother-in-law who was an electrician and also had a background, then moved to Oak Ridge. Even though they were relatives and both worked on this government project, like all workers they were told, NEVER to speak to each other about what they did at work. Workers would go only to the building where they worked, do their job and come home. As mentioned, like everyone else, these two men never mentioned a thing about their work before or after working hours.
Work done by people living there, advisors and military sent in for short times, worked diligently for over 2 years on this government project. Then when the atomic bomb was dropped, the young man from Miami, turned to the man working beside him on this secretive government project and said, “That’s what we’ve been working on!” They obviously did not know until now.
While honor definitely should go to the military in World War II and other wars, but not much honor has been given to those men (and women) who worked on the Manhattan Project and developed the Atomic Bomb, that ended WWII. So, I would like to give this acclamation and thanks to those who did work on it, esp. to the man from Miami, FL, my father, Novell Barwick! Even though he is now with the Lord, I have the deepest gratitude for what he did and the others with whom he worked in Oak Ridge so I could live in the freedoms protected by the dropping of the Atomic Bomb!
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