This Friday, Dec. 7, will be the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which plunged America into World War II. We can’t help but wonder if Pearl Harbor means anything to today’s generation.
If you were alive Dec. 7, 1941, you remember Pearl Harbor. When the news reached the United States, many Americans thought out loud, “Where is Pearl Harbor?”
After officially declaring war Dec. 8 on Japan, which executed the sneak attack on our naval ships, airfields and personnel, the cry was, “Remember Pearl Harbor.”
War was declared on Germany and other Axis countries a short time later and the U.S. entered into war mode overseas and at home. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7 “a day that will live in infamy.”
The Pearl Harbor attack killed 2,403 military personnel and wounded 1,178, sank or destroyed six U.S. ships and destroyed 169 Navy and Army Air Corps aircraft. The Japanese losses included 29 aircraft, five midget submarines, and 129 of the attackers were killed and one was taken prisoner.
The attack was a serious blow to the U.S. but was hardly a knockout punch to America’s military.
The war ended in 1945. The Germans surrendered in May 1945 and Japan, after being hit by two atomic bombs, officially surrendered in September 1945.
Americans living in 1941 will never forget the attack on Pearl Harbor.