December 7

Grand Forks, ND

It is December 7, and the North Dakotan farmer and his wife are off to church. "You know, Martha, with things as rough as they are, we sure have been blessed by God. We've gotten through these times pretty good." Looking somewhat into the distance his wife said, "You know, Ben, I forgot to tell you that I went with Betty to the train station the other day and I picked up that Minnesota paper. I just can't say what, Ben, but I just can't believe all is as good as maybe you, and even I, want to believe. There's somethin' wrong, somethin' going on with these times."
"Martha, that's just you. I'm tryin' to say to you that maybe, just maybe, the worst is over. We've done good. We still got the farm. Our kids are growin', yes, still at home, but we're doin' well. Let's be happy. When we get to church today, let's be grateful to the Lord God Almighty for what He is doing for us. Stop reading those papers. Them city folks. Do as I do. Be happy."
Many hours away, in the very early hours of the Pacific, the pilots and all the crews of Japanese Combined Fleet have finished their early-morning breakfasts. Pilots especially have visited the onboard shrine of their god, seeking His blessing for the work of this day. Most of what has happened in those lands so far from North Dakota now sits ready on this Combined Fleet's carrier decks. For the Emperor, for the Empire, for their families. The mission of this day has its purpose.
Driving into the church yard, a neighbor of Ben's excitedly approaches their car. "Did you hear, Ben? Those 3 sections just north of you finally got sold and they got full price.". Smilin' broadly, Ben looks and says to his wife, "See, I told ya, Martha. I'm going into that church today and I'm thankin' the Lord God Almighty for all this. We're making it. Now, with the twins 2 years out of high school, Mike then graduatin' this year and Bill next, I know we're blessed. We're got a chance now. I 'm goin' to that banker tomorrow and I am going to talk to him. What a day for this family, what a glorious day."
As the North Dakotan climbs the steps of his place of worship, all the carriers of the Combined Fleet are ordered to "turn into the wind." Little does the North Dakotan know that on Monday, he will not be meeting with the banker. The North Dakotan will be declaring war against the Empire of Japan.

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