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"Pearl Harbor": Trusting the Father's Orders

The movie Pearl Harbor tells of the events leading up to and immediately following the Japanese attack on the U.S. on December 7, 1941. The film follows the fictional lives of two fighter pilots, Raph and Danny, who have been inseparable friends since childhood and are stationed at the same base in Hawaii.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Raph (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) are called into Colonel Jimmy Doolittle's office. They have succeeded in downing seven Japanese planes.

Doolittle (Alec Baldwin) stands behind his desk and addresses the cocky pilots somberly.

"You've both been awarded the silver star. You're just about the only pilots with combat experience. I need you for a mission I've been ordered to put together."

Raph and Danny look nervously pleased. Doolittle looks them over carefully.

"Do you know what 'top secret' is?" he asks.

Raph responds with a wry smile. "Yes, sir! It's the kind of mission when you get medals, but they send them to your relatives."

Ignoring the remark, Doolittle continues, "Top secret means you train for something never done before in aviation history—and you go without knowing where you're going. You do it on that basis or not at all."

Honored to be asked, yet unsure of what they are committing to, both men agree to go.

In many ways, God recruits us to follow him in the same way that Doolittle recruited these pilots for this mission. God trains us in ways unique to us to fulfill unique purposes, and we know little or nothing about where we are going. We go on that basis, or we don't go at all.

[The mission, called Doolittle's Raid, was to attack Japan by air. It was successful and affected the course of the war. In the movie, the two pilots live through the attack, but both are forced to crash-land their planes in China. At this point, Danny is ambushed and killed by Japanese soldiers who have invaded that part of China. Raph survives.]

Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, this scene begins at 2:19:35 and last approximately 45 seconds.

Content: Pearl Harbor is rated PG-13 for profanity, violence, and sexuality.

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