December 7th A Day That Will Live In Infamy

The Attack On Pearl Harbor: A Date That Will Live In Infamy, History, And Our Hearts

December 7 is perhaps the single most solemn date on each and every American citizen’s calender. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt so eloquently stated, it is a date that will truly live in infamy. Seventy one years ago, on December 7, 1941, the nation of Japan launched a surprise attack on the American military base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and killed 2402 Americans. All eight of the US Navy’s battleships were sunk or heavily damaged, three cruisers went to the bottom, three destroyers disappeared beneath the waves, and 188 aircraft were destroyed.

As great as the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor was on the United States Armed Forces, the impact on the American people was far greater. The nation was still in the throes of the isolationist mood that prevailed after World War One, and the long suffering citizens of our great country were still trying to recover fully from the nightmare of the Great Depression.

The last thing Americans wanted or expected was to become involved in World War Two. Before the guns were finally silenced in 1945, 16,596,639 Americans served in the military to defeat the Nazis in Europe and Hirohito’s Japanese Imperial Forces in the Pacific. 416,837 loyal Americans were killed, 683,846 Americans were maimed or wounded, and 130,000 of our brave citizens, including many civilians, became prisoners of war.

When the surrender document was signed on September 2, 1945 by humiliated Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, acting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and General Yoshijirō Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, acting on behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, two atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and our beautiful planet was changed forever.

Today, there is a new generation and sadly, many of them have no idea what happened in Pearl Harbor on that quiet December morning. Kids will be happy to tell you the name of their favorite rapper or recite the lyrics of every song by Lady Gaga, but, if you show them a picture of the Arizona Memorial, it will probably have no significance what so ever. If you tell most youngsters that 353 Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes launched from six aircraft carriers and attacked Pearl Harbor, they might even think you are talking about a new video game.

The Wreck Of The Arizona Is A Grim Tribute To WW2
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