Today, Dec. 8, is the 82nd anniversary of the date “which will live in infamy.”
More than 2,400 Americans lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941 when Japanese bombers launched a surprise attack on the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack started at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time and continued for the next hour. All eight U.S. battleships stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack were sunk, though all but two – the Arizona and the Oklahoma – later returned to active duty. In addition, nearly 20 American Navy vessels and about 300 aircraft were damaged or destroyed.
The attack – famously described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “date which will live in infamy” – – propelled America into World War II, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 400,000 U.S. soldiers.
Today, fewer than 132,000 World War II veterans are alive in the U.S. as the number of Pearl Harbor survivors continues to dwindle.
“On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the memories of the 2,403 service members and civilians whose lives were cut short on that tragic December morning. We reflect on the resilience of America’s Armed Forces, who withstood the attack and built the most capable fighting force the world has ever known. In the wake of tragedy, these brave women and men — the Greatest Generation — answered the call to defend freedom, justice, and democracy across the Pacific, throughout Europe, and around the globe. Today, we carry forward their spirit of unity and their enduring resolve to protect the United States against those who seek to do us harm.” – – 2022 White House resolution on Pearl Harbor Day