FRAZIER: Where Advent, Pearl Harbor and good deeds collide

Published 4:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2022

During the Advent season, I have tried to stay mindful of the true meaning of Christmas.

But I will admit it is sometimes a challenge with all the goings-on of decorating and shopping. I do, however, like to read inspirational material with the hopes it will keep me on track.

This past Wednesday, Dec. 7, marked the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and one of my readings referenced the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, in 1941.

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History records that on that day more than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The attack also destroyed or damaged nearly 20 American naval vessels and more than 300 airplanes.

When I was a budding teen, my family traveled to Oahu to visit my mother’s sister and brother-in-law. My uncle was in the U.S. Airforce and was stationed at Hickam AFB.

While there visiting we did some sightseeing, which included going to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor — the resting place of more than 1,000 sailors and Marines who were killed during the attack.

I had seen the movie “Tora Tora Tora,” which is a film that depicted the attack on Pearl Harbor, so actually being there in person and viewing the memorial — I can remember feeling a sense of sadness thinking about all those who were buried below.

That fateful day 81 years ago will forever be etched in the minds of Americans. A day that could have been prevented.

What?

This week, while reading Robert Petterson’s “The One Year Book of Amazing Stories,” I learned something pretty amazing. The attack on Pearl Harbor could have been prevented. That is if the Federal Bureau of Investigation had listened to Dusko Popov.

Popov, who was a double agent recruited by the Germans but sold out to the British had warned the FBI of the attack, but it fell on deaf ears. (By the way, Popov also became the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond.)

Petterson writes that J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, didn’t trust Popov because he was a “debonair playboy,” thus ignoring information that could have saved lives.

I felt outraged when I read this and thought surely Petterson is taking liberties, but historyonthenet.com confirmed the information.

Petterson, in his book, which is made up of devotional stories geared toward “seeing God’s hand in unlikely places,” shares this story in an effort to convey how the dangers of the world are not because of evil, but because there are those who see it and do nothing about it.

What a great message for the holiday season.

Maj. Janna Torgerson, Corps officer for the Vicksburg Salvation Army, said this week, there are still approximately 300 angels left on the Angel Tree at Uptown Vicksburg Mall.

I can either help or look away.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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