Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Date of Infamy

pearl-harbor-uss-arizona-12-7-41Take time amidst holiday preparations to pause and remember that 69 years ago, today, a single catastrophic event pushed the U.S. into World War II with a terrible loss of human life. Sunday, December 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m. on a clear morning, 183 Japanese warplanes attacked and demolished the U.S. Pacific fleet docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 

Over 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded in 2 waves of attacks that lasted 2 hours and damaged or destroyed 350 aircraft; 8 battleships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or badly damaged - including the U.S.S. Arizona. The attacks also sank or damaged 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and a minelayer.

A day later, December 8, Americans listened on radio as U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his Date of Infamy speech (excerpts here):

I believe that 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 it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us . . .

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

33 minutes later Congress declared war on Japan.


Out on the prairie said...

I have a Great-Uncle who was on the Arizona.It was hard to really take in hand as a kid, but I went to visit 15 years ago.Wishing I was there again, we are in single digits with wind chill.

Montanagirl said...

Yup, A visit to Hawaii would be okay right about now...we have winter here - only 3 above today, but beautiful out with sunshine and the trees (and everything else) covered in a thick coat of frost.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Steve, back in the 1940s there seemed a stronger trend of patriotism and suport of the armed forces than currently. While no one in my family was in WW II, it's still important to remember those who sacrificed such as your great uncle. You didn't mention if he was injured or killed. Hope you weather warms up a bit. It's in the high 20s and 30s here which is chilly for this area.

Brrr Mona, 3 above is very chilly.

Elaine said...

This is a day we should all take a moment and remember that awful day.

Hmm, Mona has 3 above, you have 20s and 30s, and our temps are registering in the minus 20s, just a mite colder.

Ginnie said...

I was 8 years old then and honestly don't remember that particular day ... but I well remember the WWII years that followed.

Lois Evensen said...

Yes, we must all remember and learn from our history. I'm glad to know the Memorial in Hawaii has been repaired.

Anonymous said...

Terrible thing!
I wonder how the Japanese was thinking? Did they really believe that could do that unpunished??

But at the same time, if this hadn´t happened Europe would most probably have lost to the Nazis in Germany. So Your tragedy became our salvation.


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Elaine, Ginnie, Lois, agreed that we must remember even if some of us were either too young or not yet born. Tragedies like this tend to be forgotten with the passage of time, but this one should never be forgotten.

Christer, you are correct because until this bombing, the U.S. was not involved in WW II. And it seems odd that the Japanese officials would not have considered the consequences of such an action.