Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

RESPONSIBILITY- a One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Grater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by John F. Pierce
Character Council Faith Committee Chairman, Cincinnati, OH

May 29, 2001


Pearl Harbor! A surprise attack – or was it? On the Sunday morning of December 7, 1941, two US soldiers were manning their small radar station in the Pacific at 7:00 AM. As they scanned their screen they saw dots appear. And these dots kept multiplying and multiplying until their entire screen was filled! These soldiers notified their supervisor, a youthful lieutenant. Because it was Sunday, he was the only officer there on duty. The young lieutenant thought these planes must be from California, and responded to the two soldiers, “Don’t worry about it”.

At 7:50 AM, 353 Japanese airplanes came swarming all over Pearl Harbor – unopposed! Within the short span of a couple of hours, America had suffered the loss of 8 big battleships, 6 major airfields, and nearly all planes. Worse, in that short time, 2,400 men had died and many more were critically injured!

Irresponsibility! At 7:00 AM when the warplanes were first spotted by the two US soldiers, the planes were still 50 minutes away. In those 50 minutes, there would have been ample time to ready the battleships, scramble the US planes, and get the men sheltered. But this lieutenant, at the most responsible moment of his career, failed his station. The anguish and cost to others of irresponsibility can be devastating!

[Adapted from Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan, Assurance Publishers, Rockville, Md. 1984. #227]



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.