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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 3, 2005 / 25 Iyar, 5765

Hear the heroes of June 4th

By David Gelernter


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Samuel Eliot Morison was one of the 20th century's most eminent American historians. His writing is vivid, but in "The Two-Ocean War" he appeals directly to his readers just once. Speaking of airmen who died at the Battle of Midway, he writes, "Think of them, reader, every Fourth of June. They and their comrades who survived changed the whole course of the Pacific War."


As June 1942 began, Japan was on a rampage. America had yet to recover from Pearl Harbor, hit in late '41. The Japanese had just launched a campaign to grab Midway Island from the U.S. as a base for more air strikes against Hawaii and to open the central Pacific to attack.


The two fleets faced off north of Midway, too far apart to reach each other with gunfire. The battle was fought by aircraft. There were three American carriers (virtually all that remained of the U.S. Pacific fleet) versus four large Japanese carriers.


The first waves of U.S. warplanes attacked, disastrously. Navy Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron led a squadron of 15 torpedo bombers; all were shot down, and the Japanese ships remained untouched. Two more squadrons followed, one under Lt. Cmdr. Eugene E. Lindsey, one led by Lt. Cmdr. Lance E. Massey. They too suffered heavy losses and failed to scratch the Japanese.


Silence. It looked like America had shot its wad and lost everything. "For about one hundred seconds" at the heart of the battle, Morison writes, "the Japanese were certain they had won the Battle of Midway, and the war."


Then, one more group of U.S. warplanes suddenly appeared — dive bombers led by Lt. Cmdr. Clarence W. McClusky. In countering the previous attacks, Japanese fighter planes had been drawn downward — leaving American bombers unmolested at 14,000 feet, free to dive on the Japanese ships. Two carriers were sunk. Soon afterward a third was destroyed, later a fourth. The U.S. went on to win the battle — and the war.

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Why must we remember? Because Midway was the turning point in our war with Japan — which is central, in turn, to our understanding of the 20th century and the human race.


World War II dislodged Europe from the center of world politics and created the U.N., the drive for European unity, Israel's rebirth — and a 50-year Cold War. One more thing. It destroyed humanity's sense of itself as basically good.


Morality collapsed and was trampled to death in three of the world's largest nations simultaneously. Today's public understands the criminal depravity of Hitler. (Although Europe doesn't understand well enough to deny itself the pleasure of its latest round of Jew-hatred.) People understand (vaguely) the monstrousness of Stalin. But no one wants to know what Japan did to captive Asian peoples and POWs.


I pick up Arnold Brackman's book about Japanese war crimes unwillingly. I don't want to read about the British officer at the Tamarkan camp, near the River Kwai, beaten insensible then kept four days in a trench in six inches of mosquito-infested rainwater. At war's end, he was insane. Or about prisoners of Japan on a torpedoed ship who struggled to reach a life raft, where a Japanese seaman chopped off their hands or split their skulls with an ax. Routine incidents. This is the Japan that almost won the Battle of Midway, and the war. American soldiers refused to let it happen.


Memorial Days come and go, and Americans know less about World War II and Midway every year. While the veterans still survive, we ought to listen to them. They want to talk and (Lord knows) they deserve to. We should take Morison's advice at last and remember the day we almost lost the Pacific war, and the soldiers who turned it around for us — those who died heroically and those who lived. The president could make it happen with a stroke of the famous presidential pen — not another Memorial Day but a Day of Listening, devoted to the Midway veterans, to all our World War II veterans. How much longer are we going to wait?


The heroism of these old soldiers doesn't erase the unspeakable atrocities of the war. It does mean that humanity has something to say in its own defense. These veterans are still our benefactors. Think of them, reader, every Fourth of June.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Yale professor David Gelernter is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem. To comment, please click here.


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© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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