“December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” Those are the famous words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during a speech he delivered to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941.
FDR’s speech came the day after Japan’s attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. Congress then passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into World War II. Wednesday marks the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Just before eight o’clock on a Sunday morning, nearly 400 Japanese warplanes attacked the home port of the United States’ Pacific Fleet. The results were devastating. Five battleships, three destroyers and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. About 2400 Americans were killed and another 1200 were wounded, many while attempting to repel the attack.
Because of the attack, the United States entered World War II, a four-year effort costing more than 400,000 American lives.
Dozens of survivors have come to Hawaii this week to remember those who lost their lives and commemorate the day. This is considered the last major gathering of Pearl Harbor survivors. They are now in their nineties, one is 104 years old.