12/13/2017

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National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is an annual observance that commemorates the surprise attack on American army, naval, and other military installations and facilities in Hawaii by aircraft and submarines that were dispatched from the Japanese navy during World War II.

The attack took place on December 7, 1941. The main targets of the Japanese was the United States Pacific fleet located at Pearl Harbor. The strategy was to destroy or severely cripple the U. S. Navy in order to deminish it's capabilities and influence in the Pacific theatre of the war.

During the attack, over 2,400 soldiers, sailors, and civilians were killed and another 1,100 were wounded. Four battleships and several other naval vessels were either sunk or put out of action and over 200 airplanes were destroyed or severely damaged.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a speech to Congress, called December 7th "a day which will live in infamy." Until that day, the United States was not technically at war with Japan or it's Axis allies but as a result of the attack, the United States immediately declared war on Japan and entered World War II.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday, but since it is one of the most important dates in American history, it is observed with reverence.

Services are held at many locations across the United States to make sure that what happened at Pearl Harbor that December day is never forgotten. Flags are flown at half staff, speeches are given, and soldiers and civilians alike pause to reflect and to pay tribute to those who died during that tragic event.

One of the most poignant ceremonies is held each year at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona is the final resting place of 1,102 sailors who went down with the ship that day.

The USS Arizona sank with many of the unsuspecting sailors trapped below deck with no idea of what was going on around them. This was also the case with other ships that were moored at Pearl Harbor that day.

Over a million people visit the USS Arizona Memorial each year, but the anniversary of the attack, December 7th, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, is a very special date.

 

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