Day of infamy marks its 77th anniversary
From ashes of horrific day arose a nation of heroes
One of the most jarring days in American history was Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor.
And while the day was a dark one in our history, it was also a day where heroes rose to meet the call of a nation in need.
The attack lasted just over two hours. In that short window of time, 2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,000 were injured. Eighteen American ships were destroyed or sunk, and another 300 aircraft damaged or destroyed.
That brutal day drove our nation together, in grief and in shock, a tribe united in the face of war.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted the changes in his State of the Union address just a few weeks later in 1942:
“The act of Japan at Pearl Harbor was intended to stun us — to terrify us to such an extent that we would divert our industrial and military strength to the Pacific area, or even to our own continental defense.
“The plan has failed in its purpose. We have not been stunned. We have not been terrified or confused. This very reassembling of the 77th Congress today is proof of that; for the mood of quiet, grim resolution which here prevails bodes ill for those who conspired and collaborated to murder world peace.
“That mood is stronger than any mere desire for revenge. It expresses the will of the American people to make very certain that the world will never so suffer again.
By Roosevelt’s State of the Union address a year later, in 1943, there were approximately 1.5 million American service members around the world, and the U.S. armed forces had grown from a little over 2,000,000 to 7,000,000.
Americans banded together, rising toward the country’s call to service, from factories to farmers to families who sacrificed much for the war effort.
Pearl Harbor was horrific, but it launched a country of heroes into action. Today, we remember their service, and honor their sacrifice. Unsigned editorials represent the viewpoint of this newspaper rather than an individual. Columns and letters to the editor represent the viewpoints of the persons writing them and do not necessarily represent the views of the Yuma Sun.