Today is “A Day that will live in infamy.” Not today exactly, but December 7, 1941.
President Roosevelt gave us this phrase that is now part of the American lexicon along with “Life, Liberty, and Happiness” and “We Hold These Truths”.
That is the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, HI and brought the United States into World War II. Even though this happened 69 years ago, we still need to remember those brave Men and Women who gave their lives that December morning, and those who immediately rose to the occasion and prevented more loss.
I am not going to go into details, there are too many other good links out there (see above). I would like to hit some highlights though.
We were devastated to lose so many ships. Here is a list of the ships we lost that day:
4 battleships sunk,
4 battleships damaged including 1 run aground
2 destroyers sunk, 1 damaged
1 other ship sunk, 3 damaged
3 cruisers damaged
4 midget submarines sunk,
1 midget submarine run aground,
29 aircraft destroyed,
188 aircraft destroyed
155 aircraft damaged
And then the loss of life that still grieves us:
55 airmen killed
9 submariners killed
2,402 military killed
1,247 military wounded
57 civilians killed
35 civilians wounded
There were also many who rose up and gave service to their country “above and beyond the call of duty” and were justly decorated. In the wake of the battle 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Crosses, four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Stars were awarded. Most military personnel are not there for medals or accolades. They just happen to be the ones who step up and do what needs to be done.
I have written before about Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Patriot Day. Today is another to be remembered for the brave souls who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom and liberty, just by being there that day, and for those who survived and went on to fight the battles in the Pacific. Gentlemen, (and ladies of course) we salute you, thank you for your service.