The morning of December 7th 1941 brought devastation that will remain in the heart of America forever. On this day the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. This attack managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, and about 300 airplanes. Over 2,000 American soldiers and sailors paid the ultimate price in this attack, their life.
That morning, the Japanese flooded the sky over Pearl Harbor as bombs exploded,killing thousands. Every battleship in Pearl Harbor saw some type of devastation (some more than others) by the time the attack was over. Although the attack caused much devastation, the Japanese failed to cripple the Pacific Fleet. By that period in time, aircraft carriers were the most important naval vessel, not battleships. Furthermore, the attack had left the bases most important onshore facilities intact. This made it possible for the U.S. Navy to recover fairly quickly from the attack.
Following the attack, on December 8th, President Roosevelt stated: “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.” He continued, “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 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 very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”
After the attack on Pearl Harbor it was clear that the American people were done debating about whether or not they should go to war, they were ready and determined to. On this day, Congress approved Roosevelt’s declaration of war.
It is important that we take time to reflect on this day in history as we show our undying appreciation for those who choose to fight for this great country. Those who are willing to pay the ultimate price for our freedoms deserve our respect and gratitude. We hold our military close to our hearts, they are the reason we are able to live as we do. Let’s not forget those who lost their lives on this tragic day, as well as those who continued to fight for us.