Our Finest Hour

At this stage of American history, we advanced onto the world stage having no real choice but to fight a war on multiple fronts in World War II and rather self consciously becoming a, if not the, world leader in multiple meanings of this position.

Downtown Indianapolis -  World War II Memorial

Our Finest Hour
by Michael Doyle

In the 1930s, American eyes were fixed internally
There was little time to gaze out internationally
While it's unfair to say were isolationist
It is true that we were by no means internationalist

But these were times of dictatorial, expansionist nations
And the dynamics would with certainty lead to conflagration
The beating of the tribal drums signaled catastrophic war
As Japan conquered China and Germany expanded even more

Acts of territorial aggression faced only appeasing toleration
As chunks of countries were take in stride without consideration
Neutrality became more and more impossible to sustain
While the Blitzkrieg advanced, all attempts to halt it were in vain

By June of 1940, Paris itself found its lights out and occupied
While Nazi domination mocked the Treaty of Versailles in reply
FDR began to ween America from its preferred, feigned neutrality
Into adequately preparing to engage in this new reality

The Battle of Britain was also the battle for Christian civilization
With it depended all of freedom's most cherished institutions
This then for the Free World would begin our finest hour
As Britain turned back the Nazi beast always seeking to devour

The Royal Air Force beat back the Luftwaffe in the skies
While allowing time for America to provide materials and supplies
In 1940, FDR won like a horse in midstream his third reelection
Following this with a fire side chat setting our new direction

America would sign into law the needed Lend Lease Act
Which helped our allies letting them know they were backed
This, in fact, was nothing less than a secret sort of war
As we took on the German Navy and aided and assisted even more

For America, there is no infamous a day than December 7, 1941
With the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, war had begun
The Japanese thinking strategically had look for a knockout blow
Taking out most of the Pacific Fleet, but, little did they know

Their hope to demoralized proved, opinion polls aside,
That it is unwise to wound the heart of American Pride
Simultaneously, the Soviet Union left the Non-Aggression Pact
Thuggish as a new ally could be, that we needed Stalin is a fact

Admiral Yamamoto had some idea of America's industrial ability
But under estimated that it would redouble in its needed capacity
It was this All-American burst of essential, crucial productivity
That allowed the Allies to manage its win somewhat predictably  

The decision made, defeating Hitler became our first priority
Securing the North Atlantic and then the south underbelly of Italy
Were things soon enough done yet without the decisive victory
The Russians under siege prompted D-Day as much needed history

So many things might have gone wrong and yet somehow did not
And Normandy was won though the battle was very hard fought
Allied Commander Eisenhower did not prioritize Berlin's defeat
Thinking it mostly symbolic who took the city if Hitler was beat

Churchill argued against this and turned out to be quite right
Meanwhile in the Pacific, the Japanese had unstoppable might
Until American carriers would provide the turning point day
There has never been a more decisive naval battle than Midway

From there, Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur converged
In a two prong attack from the Philippines to Japan they merged
82 days at Okinawa is often referred to as the Typhoon of Steel
A quarter of a million dead could not break the Japanese will

Victory was achieved in Europe and FDR won his fourth election
Breaking precedent in every way for our American nation
FDR died just ahead of the Jewish death camps revelation
As a shudder of horror cast its shadow across our nation

An invasion of Japan would have cost upwards of a million dead
Truman's Manhattan Project atom bomb would cost less it was said
As the new president, Harry Truman took this on his shoulders
Hiroshima and Nagasaki bore the brunt as their ruins would smoulder

On the Emperor's surrender, the most destructive war in history
Was brought to its end, changing the course of things decisively
Of America's standing in the world in a sort of permanent sense
Integrally involved now in world affairs, we provided defense

The mantle of leadership required a standing army for our nation
And with it came the obligations of incessant accommodation 
Self conscious as we were, we departed from our stubborn past
But our organic principles would endure and still last

(c) April 7, 2020  Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved

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About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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