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Thursday, December 6, 2012

“A Date which will Live in Infamy”

Our grandparents version of 911 which ushered the United States into World War II was the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On December 7, 1941, at 7:48AM (American time at Hawaii – The Attack happened very early in the morning of December 8th in Japan.) an attack began on various different targets around the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.  353 Japanese Planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers, made up of fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes attacked their respective targets for the next ninety minutes.
By the time they were finished of the eight U.S. battleships, four were sunk, 3 were damaged and one was grounded.  Three cruisers and three destroyers were damaged, and five other ships were sunk.
One hundred eighty-eight aircraft were destroyed and another 159 were damaged with most of the carnage happened to parked aircraft on the ground.
Of service military personal, 2,402 killed, 1,247 wounded.  Civilians, 57 killed, 35 wounded.
The Japanese lost 5 midget submarines, 29 aircraft, 64 killed, and 1 submariner captured being the first Japanese Prisoner of War for the U.S.
On December 8th, 1941 American time, the U.S. declared war on Japan.
Germany and Italy declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 which was reciprocated by the United States of America the same day.
President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7th as “A date which will live in Infamy.”
Let us not forget our past or to learn from our history so hopefully we will not be subjected to repeating the same tragedies and making the same mistakes.
As those of this generation will never forget the attacks of 911, let us pause a moment and remember our grandparents and great grandparents version of the same.
Great Britain our countries alley had been fighting against the German oppression which had already spread across Europe since 1938.  They rightfully rejoiced in our sorrow as they realized America’s newly found change in opinion about staying out of the war meant that help was on the way.  Churchill realized with America entering World War II that together we could beat the Axis Forces in time.  Many other countries joined the Allied Forces to eventually bring World War II to an end.  Notice I didn’t say ‘Win the War’ because as a veteran I fully realize nobody wins in an armed conflict.


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