Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Speech
“Yesterday, December 7, 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.
With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”
Full speech and more details here
A visit to Pearl Harbor, is a must for everyone; any trip to Oahu, Hawai’i should include a day trip here.
My wife and I got tickets to visit the USS Arizona Memorial at 2:00 pm. We’d gotten there at 8:30 am; I asked at the visitors’ centre what time we should have been there for an earlier time and was told that the queue for the site often starts at 6:00 am. This did, however, give us a chance to visit the other sites.
Tip: The USS Arizona Memorial is free and even if they run out of tickets you can go and wait there. I was waiting for the 2:00 pm tour and there were a few families without tickets that were let on when some of the ticket holders did not show up. I suppose for the early morning tours the chances of this happening are less likely, but toward the end of the day people might get held up at other sites and not make it back for their tour.
The attack on Pearl Harbor marked a turning point in the second world war. Had the attack not happened, Japan could have pilfered Asia a few more years with impunity, Germany would not have declared war on the United States and the fighting in Europe could have been prolonged for many years.
Many lives were lost at Pearl Harbor but, in retrospect, many more may have been saved.
Some interesting facts, that I did not know before:
- Of the eight damaged US Navy battleships six were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war*.
- The Niihau Incident ( from Wikipedia):
In the official report, authored by Navy Lieutenant C. B. Baldwin and dated January 26, 1942, Baldwin wrote, “The fact that the two Niʻihau Japanese who had previously shown no anti-American tendencies went to the aid of the pilot when Japan domination of the island seemed possible, indicate likelihood that Japanese residents previously believed loyal to the United States may aid Japan if further Japanese attacks appear successful.”
- A few sailors on the USS West Virginia survived after it sank. They were discovered during repairs and a calendar found with them indicated they had lived until 23 December, over 2 weeks after the attack.
*As I had read that the aircraft losses included 188 destroyed and 159 damaged – it seems the number slightly varies depending on source but let’s say a round 350 - I wanted to check something else so I read that the total US aircraft production in 1941 was 18,466. The Pearl Harbor losses amounted to only 7 days production. It seems the attack didn’t achieve much from a military standpoint, but served only to “to awaken a sleeping giant”. In no fewer than 4 years, Japan lay in ruins, the aftermath of the first atomic bomb.