December 7th, 1941. A date which will live in infamy.

Destroyed American aircraft on Ford Island after the attack.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Sailors and Marines that survived that attack will make a sacred journey to place a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial and openly mark the remembrance of those lost.

I’ve always been pulled to World War II history and to talk to people that lived in that time is a priviledge. My father in law remembers that day well. He was 16 and like so many others he wanted to join the Army to fight. A badly set broken arm from his childhood marked him as 4F but he helped the war effort in many ways. As a teenager he helped build B25 Mitchell bombers, like the ones that were flown in the Doolittle Raid. That daring operation took the war to the Japanese.

At the end of the Sunday morning attack, 2402 Americans lay dead and the Pacific fleet was in ruins. America was at war.

The USS West Virginia (BB48) burns. She rose like a phoenix from the ashes and went on to earn five battle stars. She was decommissioned 9Jan1947.

I felt I should list the address that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave to Congress when he asked that America declare war on Japan.

President Roosevelt, fireside chat. March 1933

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

 

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.

 

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

 

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

 

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

 

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

 

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

 

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

 

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

 

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

 

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

 

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

 

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 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.

 

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.

 

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

Here’s a link to the 2402 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and civilians lost on that day. http://www.usswestvirginia.org/ph/phlist.php

 

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About Jason McKinney

I'm a word slinging, werewolf loving, zombie wrangling, scare master author, husband and father of three. When I'm not writing, I'm blathering nonsense to the world or taking orders from the family. You have my thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the madness and mayhem! Stay delicious, my living peeps!
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2 Responses to December 7th, 1941. A date which will live in infamy.

  1. Excellent post, Jason! Thank you for taking the time to put this post together and remind people of the significance of Dec. 7 when people are so focused on getting the best deals at their favorite stores. It’s also interesting to point out that 70 years ago we were at war with Japan after an unprovoked attack on our nation and today Japan is one of our closest allies.

    Take care, my friend!

  2. You’re welcome and thank you for reading it, Rob. A lot of people my age, unless they are serving, can only say that we were in World War 2 though a few can tell you why. December 7th is a day I honor every year and I’m proud that I can thanks to those men and women that have served our nation.
    Our World War 2 vets are becoming a dying breed and their sacrifices and actions, no matter how small, should always be remembered. They were the Greatest Generation and now, 70 years later, we have another Great Generation following in their footsteps.
    While I enjoy the Christmas season, today is but one of two days that I become somber minded over.
    Japan has, in my opinion, become a world super power while becoming our ally. I think General Marshall did an outstanding job helping them recover after the war. I’m glad they’re an ally. I’d hate to have them as an enemy again.

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