Thanksgiving Message for American Aid Said, “We will never forget”
On September 1, 1923 at one minute before noon local time, a great earthquake devastated southeastern Japan including the cities of Tokyo (population of about 3 million) and Yokohama (population about 423 thousand). The earthquake had an estimated surface wave magnitude (Ms) of 8.19. Immediately after the shock numerous fires broke out in Tokyo and Yokohama.
Virtually every building in Yokohama was destroyed. Three-fourths of Tokyo with its 5 million inhabitants was burned. Disease and despair were rampant throughout the island empire.
A joint survey made by Secretary Hoover and the Red Cross estimated the dead at almost 300,000 with 2,500,000 people homeless.
The Literary Digest of September 15, 1923, states: "History knows no disaster which parallels the earthquake and fire that visited Japan this month, and laid waste the capital city and the chief seaport."
The New York Tribune called this earthquake "undoubtedly the greatest disaster in recorded time."
America rushed to the aid of Japan. Food, clothing, medical supplies, money, and volunteer workers came by the shipload. The American Red Cross collected $10 million from the people of the United States for the suffering and homeless Japanese people.
America’s quick reaction saved thousands of Japanese from starvation and disease.
The Japanese were grateful and they wrote how much they appreciated America’s help.
Walter Keirman, correspondent for the International News Service, recalls their words:”Japan will never forget!”
But Japan did forget! Seventeen years and 9 months later, on Dec. 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m., a fleet of six Japanese aircraft carriers and escort ships stationed an attack on America’s Pearl Harbor.
The attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,400 Americans and wounded another 1,200. Of those dead, 1,103 sailors and marines were killed when a Japanese bomb penetrated the forward magazine (the compartment where a ship's ammunition is stored) of the battleship USS Arizona, sinking the ship and the men aboard it.
Pear Harbor will forever present the question to America, “Have we, like the Japanese, forgotten? Have we forgotten the blessings of our God?
Jeremiah 2:32: Can a maid forget her ornaments or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number