As I write this, it is December 7, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the Japanese sneak air attack on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in what was then the U.S. territory of Hawaii, before it had become our 50th state.
It was a cold, gray, blustery day on the Carolina coast and my family was at my grandparents’ house on the Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington, North Carolina, gathered around a big floor model radio listening to a scratchy overseas news broadcast describing the attack that had destroyed the majority of the Naval Fleet that was moored in port and an easy target for the Japanese bombers.
Being only five years old at the time, I certainly didn't understand the gravity of what had happened and had no idea where or what Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was, but I knew that something catastrophic had happened to the country I had been taught to love and honor all my young life.
The reaction of the powers that be in Washington was swift and unanimous, and President Franklin Roosevelt immediately declared war. The military recruiters were inundated with young men who wanted to serve their country, and the ordinary citizens quickly assumed a war posture. Housewives took jobs in munitions factories and other defense related industries to take up the manpower slack enlistment and conscription had created.
Even the kids played a part in the war effort, collecting tin cans, old nylon stockings and scrap metal, which all played some part in helping America win the war.
There was a united front amongst the public; a "we're all in this together" attitude and patriotic emotion came as naturally as breathing. Anyone in uniform was respected, even revered, and anyone who would attempt to burn a flag or refuse to respect the national anthem enough to stand would be in jeopardy of, as the old southern saying goes, "getting a knot jerked in their tail."
America was at war, not just our military forces, but also the people, the industry and the government, and every fiber of our being was dedicated to winning. And if you did not stand with us, you stood against us, against the men who were storming the beaches of Normandy and being cut to ribbons by Nazi machine gun fire, against the crews who flew their planes through intense fields of anti-aircraft fire to drop their payload on Hitler's doorstep, against the troops who fought the tortuous island by island battles against the Japanese in the Pacific.
You stood against the mother who had just hung a gold star in her window.
You stood against the family that would forever have an empty seat at the dinner table.
You stood against the children who were too young to understand why their daddy would never be coming home.
You stood against every cross in Flanders Field, every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery.
You stood against every young man and woman who had put their dreams on hold to help America remain a free and sovereign nation.
Although, you could never tell it by watching the network evening news or the Sunday morning talk shows, where arrogant politicians and talking heads smugly tell us what’s wrong with America. Yet in spite of a media which make heroes out of fools and gives a ready platform to every spoiled athlete who disrespects the country and what it stands for, there still exists that white hot flame of patriotism.
But with few exceptions, you won't find it in Hollywood or the high society of the liberal elite, or unfortunately the colleges campuses.
You want to have a look at old fashioned, hard-core, genuine patriotism?
Go to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas or a NASCAR race, where they still open with a prayer, and a Christian prayer at that, including the name of Jesus.
Go to a small town at 5 o’clock in the morning and visit a little mom and pop cafe where the locals go for breakfast.
Stop by a farmers CO-OP, or a VFW meeting or a gathering of gold star parents, or sit in the bleachers under the Friday night-lights at a rural area football game.
These people fly mostly under the radar, forgotten and ignored by the media and national politicians, referred to as the silent majority.
But the silent majority is not silent anymore. They roared like a lion in the last election. They want their country back.
They're tired of promises. They want action, and the “R” or the “D” next to a candidate’s name is not important. The fulfillment of promises, revitalizing of American industry and military and taking back the inner city streets where families are afraid of going outside are what counts with them.
They want to untie the hands of American business and industry by peeling away the reams of silly and useless restrictions and reducing the number of redundant bureaucracies that administer them.
Banish the drug lords and vicious gangs, and administer the law equally regardless of color, fiscal or social standing.
Make affordable, comprehensive health care a reality instead of the unworkable socialist lie Obamacare has become.
Destroy ISIS, no quarter given, no worthless treaties signed, no cease fires. Just turn it over to our capable military and keep the politics and world opinion out of the equation. Get the job done.
Root out and destroy radical Islamic terror cells in this country, by whatever means is necessary. Any Muslim who is really an American should have absolutely no objections.
And create jobs, jobs, jobs, and not the part-time or minimum wage kind, but good paying jobs in sustainable industries, which will return to America if our new president-elect keeps his campaign promises.
Show respect for the sanctity of life and discredit, and it can be discredited, the myth that the unborn have no rights.
Stop borrowing and immediately begin to pay off the national debt.
Cut federal funds to sanctuary cities who harbor not only the innocent, as they would have you to believe, but the worst of the worst.
Do something about immigration instead of merely talking about it. First of all, round up and jail or deport the gangs, drug dealers, criminals, all the undesirables and all who have overstayed their visas of all nationalities, and then begin to deal with immigration on a case-by-case method as America always has. No blanket amnesties or presidential fiats, just follow the law or make new ones.
Institute a school choice program. It’s high time for politicians to stop courting the votes of the teachers’ union and start educating our children, many of whom can’t read, write or do basic math.
It was a sorry day when schools stopped teaching American history, and it's time for American children to know something about their heritage and understand, along with the blemishes of slavery and mistreatment of Native Americans, the nobility of America, it's long standing place in the world as the aspiration and hope of every freedom loving person on earth.
In my opinion, America's days to pull out of the morass we're stuck in are numbered, our problems need immediate and decisive action, and problems such as the Veterans Administration should be at the top of the stack.
We're sinking in debt, fiscal miasma, and there is a deep division in the nation which positive action will go a long way toward healing.
Show us something, Mr. Trump. Stay the course you set. Don't back down. Don't compromise. Just move forward and truly “make America great again.”
Remember, the spirit of Pearl Harbor is still alive and well in this country.
We The People are watching.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.