- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 6, 2015

Monday marks the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, to be recognized from coast to coast at myriad events both big and small, from a chapel service at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington to commemorative aircraft flyovers in Texas to a rifle salute aboard a World War II-era destroyer docked in Boston. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump himself will stage a bodacious rally at the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

One particularly significant event recalling the events of December 7, 1941, is scheduled at the National World War II Memorial at precisely 1:53 p.m., marking the moment the attacks began. During the solemn ceremony, 20 World War II veterans will present wreaths at the site’s Freedom Wall to honor the 416,800 American troops who lost their lives during World War II — including the 2,403 who died at Pearl Harbor. Frank Levingston — who at 110 is the oldest living World War II veteran — will be among them. Born in 1905, he felt the calling to enlist in the U.S. Army and served in Italy.

“I can remember the day I was inducted in the Army until the day I was discharged. I’ve been through so many dangerous things, and I’m still here. I’m thankful to the almighty God for it. That’s all I can say,” Mr. Levingston recently told KPLC, a local NBC affiliate.

Mr. Levingston arrived Sunday in the nation’s capital via Honor Flight, a nonprofit charity that transports vets free of charge to Washington. Upon his send-off from New Orleans, Mr. Levingston was serenaded by a spontaneous rendition of “God Bless America” from hundreds of bystanders and seen to his aircraft by a host of local officials, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, an honor guard and a bagpiper. Mr. Levingston will be honored at the White House on Tuesday.

Also on hand for the big event: Pearl Harbor survivor and D-Day vet Dale “Red” Robinson, the classy and magnificent U.S. Navy Band, Rear Adm. Craig Faller, Friends of the National World War II Memorial Chairman Josiah Bunting III and Gay Vietzke, superintendent of the National Mall.

FOR THE LEXICON

“SOHSA”

— A newly minted acronym that stands for “State of Homeland Security Address,” and the first of its kind. Indeed, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael T. McCaul steps up to the podium Monday at the National War College at Fort McNair in the nation’s capital to deliver what could be very helpful, current insight into the rise of radicalism, the current terrorism threat to the U.S. and the evolving war against Islamist terrorism. The Texas Republican begins his delivery at 12:30 p.m. EST; yes, C-SPAN will be there.

‘BETTER TO PREVENT THAN CURE’

What should Americans do when facing the prospect of terrorism on their own turf? Security experts are now stepping forward to suggest a practical mindset should the unthinkable happen. The following insight comes from Tom Sloane, a retired Secret Service agent in charge of security for former President Bill Clinton and other high-level officials.

“My favorite adage is, ‘It is better to prevent than to cure.’ To mitigate a harm means to think about what can be done to prevent becoming a victim in the first place. Having a prevention plan in place is a precursor to a meaningful crisis management plan. They dovetail together. To begin, I suggest mastering the art of situational awareness — which is, literally, intelligence-gathering through one’s own senses. It’s early-warning detection. It can help somebody determine the time they need to get out of harm’s way,” Mr. Sloane tells Inside the Beltway.

“In a world where events and situations remain porous — like in shopping malls at Christmastime — one needs an advantage. Remember, most harmful things that happen to us have nothing to do with terrorism or criminality. It’s all the other social, environmental or structural calamities that can adversely affect us. So my first suggestion is to always be aware of the here and now,” says Mr. Sloane, author of the new thriller “Bratva’s Rose Tattoo.” He is donating 100 percent of sales to the Navy SEAL Foundation and a children’s hospital.

A HANUKKAH MOMENT

Somehow, the Republican Jewish Coalition managed to get all 13 presidential hopefuls to say “Happy Hanukkah” on camera during the organization’s recent candidates forum. The results are a charming, cheerful and fascinating 26-second video clip. Find it here - and the group’s website is at RJCHQ.org.

A CHRISTMAS MOMENT

A new book by 20 noted conservative thinkers offers an uncommon take on Christmas, still mired in an ongoing and unnecessary cultural war. But here comes “The Christmas Virtues: A Treasury of Conservative Tales for the Holiday” penned by Jonah Goldberg, P.J. O’Rourke, Kirsten Powers and Christopher Buckley, among 16 other contributors. The new book is from Templeton Press.

“This isn’t a book about ontology or philosophy or theology. It’s about how we live Christmas,” says Weekly Standard columnist Jonathan Last, who edited the project.

Ready to assemble Monday to talk it all over at the American Enterprise Institute: Mssrs. Goldberg, O’Rourke and Last, Weekly Standard writer Steven Hayes, National Review columnist James Lileks, Ricochet co-founder Rob Long and Federalist columnist Mollie Hemingway. Watch them live online at the host organization’s website beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST here: AEI.org.

POLL DU JOUR

63 percent of Americans say “any Syrian refugees” admitted to the U.S. could be connected to terrorism; 78 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall oppose the idea of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S.; 80 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall trust that Syrian refugees will be thoroughly screened before entering the U.S.; 34 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent say the U.S. should be “volunteering” to accept over 10,000 Syrian refugees; 18 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent say the U.S. should accept only refugees from the Middle East who are Christian; 29 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,016 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 13-19 and released Friday.

Remember Pearl Harbor; thanks for reading Inside the Beltway.

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