Pearl Harbor Day a time to remember, give thanks
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched an air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.
Each year on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A further 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft, according to www.nps.gov.
But the Japanese had failed to cripple the Pacific Fleet, states www.history.com. By the 1940s, battleships were no longer the most important naval vessel: Aircraft carriers were, and as it happened, all of the Pacific Fleet’s carriers were away from the base on December 7.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress on December 8, the day after the crushing attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
He went on to say, “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. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”
It is certainly that, a day that has lived on in infamy. We should never forget the sacrifices of the men and women who were at Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field, as we lament the fact that fewer and fewer people are with us that bore witness to the events of that fateful day.
We conclude with a quote from the other side, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
That you did.