Remembering Pearl Harbor 76 Years Later

(KETK) - President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." 

On that day, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans.

It destroyed the American battleship U.S.S. Arizona and capsized the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The attack sank or beached a total of 12 ships and damaged nine others.

One hundred and sixty aircraft were destroyed and 150 others damaged.

The attack took the country by surprise, especially the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base.

The ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, known as the Commander-in-Chief Pacific, sent this hurried dispatch to all major navy commands and fleet units.

Radio stations receiving the news interrupted regular broadcasts to announce the tragic news to the American public. Most people knew what the attack meant for the U.S. even before President Roosevelt's official announcement the next day.

This would prompt the U.S. to declare war on Japan.

The U.S. was already close to joining the World War II, but in an attempt to preserve its stance of isolation and neutrality, it had only committed to sending war supplies on loan to the Allied Forces, mainly Great Britain, France and Russia.

Within days, Japan's allies, Germany and Italy (known collectively as the Axis Powers), declared war on the United States.

December 7, 1941, brought the United States into WWII.
 
REMEMBERING DECEMBER 7, 1941

Each year on December 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A further 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft.

On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Every year, remembrance events are held at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, culminating in a commemoration ceremony on December 7.


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