Amidst the hustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a day of remembrance in the U.S.
It's been 78 years ago when on dawn, December 7, 1941, half of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, approximately 150 vessels and service craft, lay at anchor or alongside piers in Pearl Harbor, HI. All but one of the Pacific fleet's battleships were in port that morning.
By 10:00 a.m., the Sunday morning had been shattered as 21 vessels lay sunk or damaged following a surprise raid by hundreds of Japanese planes. Smoke from burning planes and hangars filled the sky and oil from sinking ships clogged the harbor.
Total number of military personnel killed was 2,335, including 2,008 Navy personnel,109 marines, and 218 Army. Also killed were 68 civilians, making the total killed, 2403. Of these numbers, 1,177 were from the USS Arizona. A total of 21 naval ships were sunk or badly damaged. The number of wounded totaled 1,143: 710 Navy, 69 Marines, and 364 Army, as well as 103 civilians. The total Japanese loss was 55 men.
The attack catapulted the U.S. into WW II. Congress issued a declaration of war after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's spoke to the American public on Dec. 8, 1941, and called the bombing a date that will live in infamy.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday; however, the U.S. flag should be flown at half-mast to honor all those who died.
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