Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We have long since made peace with the nation responsible, but Pearl Harbor day will be a part of our history as long as there are people to remember.
Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded.
Many people haven’t seen the footage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking with his cane (he had had polio as a young adult and was in a wheelchair except for public appearances) to the podium of Congress.
You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VqQAf74fsE
His speech that day was brief and began with these stark words, “Yesterday, December 7th, 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 closed the speech with a declaration of war, but before that he famously said, “Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.”
Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.
The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives, fought by men and women who have been called our ‘greatest generation’.
What also happened that day was the beginning of the transformation of the United States from an isolationist country with the 14th largest military in the world to a global superpower.
God bless the men and women who died that day and the generations of military who followed them to keep us free and safe.
Memorial for the Pearl Harbor Dead on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on December 7, 1941.
Who could have imagined how this attack would change history?