Debunking claim God left off WW II Memorial 'Day of Infamy' quote
Don’t you just squirm when people you otherwise love and respect forward you email on some pretty revolting stuff. You don’t buy into such hatred material and smears and you begin to question the sanity of your friends and relatives who feel compelled to forward it to you. And we know much of those that contain the gotcha stuff on politicians or political groups are often phony.
What kind of friends do our friends keep, anyway?
So it is with one e-mail message that is tracking through Cyberspace. It insists those who designed and built the dramatic World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., a few years ago deliberately left out “so help us God” in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor “Day of Infamy” speech.
A longtime friend on Wednesday, religious and well-meaning as I have known him to be for more than 15 years, sent me a “PASS THIS ON!!” E-mail. It was termed “a bit of disturbing information.” Further on it was titled, “Shall we hire a monument engraver to go to Arlington National Cemetery and Add the Missing Words?”
To where? They can’t even get the place right, for starters. I have been to the World War II Memorial in the middle of the mall in Washington, D.C., (part-way between the Washington Memorial and the Capitol) and I have been to Arlington Cemetery – both places last summer – and the writer of this much-circulated e-mail should get that correct to have some credibility. The WWII Memorial is not at Arlington!
The E-mail tells how a group gathered to read “on the Pacific side” the words of Roosevelt that begin, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.” It goes on to say that one lady spoke up that “so help us God” was omitted from the end of this line: “With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable.” The e-mail writer exhorts, “Who gave them the right to change the words of history.”
Several Internet sites that work at finding truth, debunking Web rumors and checking the facts, have found that this e-mail is wrong. The inscription engraved on the wall is succinct and it is not from that portion of Roosevelt’s 485-word that did, in fact, contain “so help us God.” The part used on the memorial itself, however, comes four sentences before the sentence by Roosevelt that ends “with so help us God.”
The only part of Roosevelt’s speech used on the wall is:
DECEMBER 7, 1941, A DATE
WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY…
NO MATTER HOW LONG IT
MAY TAKE US TO OVERCOME
THIS PREMEDITATED INVASION,
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, IN
THEIR RIGHTEOUS MIGHT,
WILL WIN THROUGH
TO ABSOLUTE VICTORY.
Critics could say the wrong part of Roosevelt’s speech was used – a quote that didn’t happen to bring up God.
Check it out at urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_war_memorial.htm
Chalk this up to another effort to prey on people who need any excuse to show anew that God is being marginalized and intentionally removed yet another way from “this great Christian nation.”