Today, “A date that will live in infamy,” is the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Naval Base, Pearl Harbor. We honor the 2,403 people that lost their lives on this day in the surprise attack of the Japanese army. Flags should be flown at half-staff until sunset.
On the morning of December 7th, 1941 the naval base located in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor was suddenly and surprisingly attacked by Japan. The strike killed 2,403 servicemen and wounded another 1,178. The strike involved hundreds of Japanese fighter planes, a 1,800-pound bomb that was dropped on the deck of the USS Arizona that eventually exploded and sank, and then torpedoes that hit USS Oklahoma. In less than two hours, the attack was over and sank 4 battleships and damaged 4 others, as well as damaged about another 15 naval vessels, and destroyed 188 aircrafts and damaged another 159. Fortunately, the attack left oil storage deposits, repair shops, shipyards and submarine docks intact which enabled the Navy to bounce back quickly from the surprise attack,
Hours after the attack, Canada declared war on Japan. One day later, the United States of America declared war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy (part of the Axis Powers) declared war against the United States which led Congress to declare war on the European Powers, and to the United States officially joining World War II.
Three of the naval ships USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and USS Utah, have been memorialized to commemorate those who lost their lives on this tragic day. The USS Arizona Memorial is a marble memorial that was constructed over the sunken battleship that was not able to be salvaged, along with USS Utah. The memorial was dedicated on May 30th, 1962 to honor the 1,177 crew members who perished. The USS Oklahoma Memorial salutes the 429 men who died and the USS Utah Memorial observes the 58 lives lost.