“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”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
The words above were spoken by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States, in his speech to Congress on December 8th, 1941. Seventy years ago today, on a quiet Sunday morning, the Japanese government executed a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing 2388 Navy, Marines and Army personnel and severely damaging and disabling many of the ships in the US Pacific 7th Fleet.
“Tora, Tora, Tora” was the code that the lead Japanese pilot wired back to his superiors to indicate that the surprise was complete. The attacking Japanese planes came in two waves; the first wave hit their targets at 7:53 AM, the second wave at 8:55. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the four Japanese aircraft carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan.
More than half the dead (1197) died on board the Battleship Arizona, which is now a national shrine (which is the white structure across the hull of the sunken ship as pictured above). The attack – the first of its kind on American soil – was the impetus for the United States’ entry into World War II.
The day after Japan’s attack, our President, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke the words above, which to this day resonate as one of the most powerful statements ever, and one that rallied a shaken country. Congress declared war on Japan and then Hitler declared war on the U.S. On December 11th, we fully joined World War II, which was already raging in Asia and Europe.
Please give a moment of thought today for all those brave souls who fought so valiantly in one of the watershed days in our nation’s history. Also keep in your hearts and in your thoughts the brave and selfless heroes that are presently fighting to preserve and protect our nations freedom. At Mackoul & Associates, we salute you and are forever grateful.