Pearl Harbor Day:
The Beginning of World War Two
Pearl Harbor Day is when we pause to remember the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated U.S. involvement in World War II, and took the lives of 2,402 Americans.
It's a good time to visit with our children about the reasons a country might be justified in declaring war, and the awful price a country and its people pay when they wage war.
You could watch The Price of Freedom, an inspiring musical tribute to those who served in World War II that helps us to reflect on the sacrifices many have made for freedom.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
"All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. 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.
"The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared....Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.
"There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, 'a date which will live in infamy.'"
- Presidential Proclamation -- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2012
- Multimedia Map and Time LIne (NationalGeographic.com created this fabulous interactive timeline that includes maps, photos, videos and stories. Click on the link that says "Multimedia Map and Time LIne."
- Pearl Harbor veteran recalls bewilderment of attack (Veteran recounts his experience.)
- Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy (This three hour documentary about Pearl Harbor contains over 25 survivor interviews and eyewitness accounts from both American and Japanese veterans.)