Of the ships destroyed, the USS Arizonia was one of the first to blow up and sink to the bottom of the ocean, trapping over 1,000 men inside.
On December 8, 1941, in a joint session of congress, President Roosevelt demanded that a state of war be declared against Japan. President Roosevelt's now famous address to Congress stated: "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." He went on to say, "With confidence in our armed forces---with the unbounding determination of our people---we will gain the inevitable triumph---so help us God."
Congress passed a resolution to declare war against the Japanese Empire, and the Senate approved it with a vote of 82 to 0.
I think the rememberance of Pearl Harbor is important to me because of all the lives that were lost and all those that were affected by such a horendous act. It also represents a time when America stood together as a nation with common beliefs, values, and goals, and the determination to fight for our country.
My dad and my uncle both joined the Navy in 1941. Fortunately, they were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack, but both were assigned there in the summer of 1942. While Dad did not talk much about his time in the war, my Uncle Lewis often spoke about it and encouraged me to, "Remember Pearl Harbor."
My dad on the left and my Uncle Lewis on the right.
On this 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, please take a few minutes to remember all those men and women who bravely served our country and the thousands who were killed or affected by the event that thrust our nation into the second world war.
Remember Pearl Harbor