7 December 1941 – Lest We Forget

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Sunday, 7 December 1941

This is an actual photo that was taken on the morning of Sunday, 7 December 1941, the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The picture was sent to me by a friend.

 

Today is National Pearl Harbor Day. On Sunday morning, 7 December 1941, at approximately 7:55 AM Hawaiian time (2:55 AM, Monday, 8 December 1941 in Japan), the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise military attack against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It would be this attack that would lead the United states into World War II.

The attack was intended as a preventative action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific fleet from interfering with military actions that the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.[1]

7 December 1941 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

This is another actual photo of the events that occurred at the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941.

 

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but one were later raised, and six of the eight battleships returned to service and fought in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship,and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured. [1]

Almost three-quarters of a century has passed since these horrific events occurred. All of this took place 72 years ago, some 17 years before I was born. My mother was 4 years of age and my father was 6 years of age when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

While serving on active duty in the United States Navy (March 1981 – March 2001), I visited Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on several occasions and visited the sites where the events of that infamous day of 7 December 1941 occurred. I have also visited the Arizona Memorial and have always been reminded of the hefty price tag placed on the freedoms that we so dearly cherish. I humbly salute all men and women who have served and are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. I was officially and honorably retired from the United States Armed Forces on 1 September 2010.

7 December 1941 Pear Harbor, Hawaii

This is another actual photo of the events that occurred at the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941.

 

Sunday morning, 7 December 1941 will always be, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated, “a date that will live in infamy.” As we remember and reflect upon the events of that day, I believe that the question we should ask ourselves is, “Can history repeat itself?” In some ways I believe that it can. How soon so many Americans have fallen asleep and forgotten the tragic events that occurred on our homeland shores on 11 September 2001. Lest We Forget. . . . Lest We Forget!