Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor Day - December 7, 1941

It was 68 years ago today that Japanese aircraft and submarines carried out an unprovoked attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it was "a date which will live in infamy."

Beginning that Sunday morning, three waves of Japanese aircraft as well as a small group of submarines attacked both military and civilian targets in Hawaii. It was an attack carried out without warning and without a declaration of war by the Empire of Japan. By the time the fighting was over, 2,345 U.S. servicemen and women and 57 civilians had been killed. Another 1,282 were wounded.

It was the attack that mobilized the Greatest Generation - men, women and children - to stand up for their country and win a war that preserved freedom for the citizens of our own country and many other countries fore 68 years (and counting). I have had the honor, in my life, of knowing several Pearl Harbor survivors and I remember them today with great respect.

There are many places across the South where you can learn more about World War II and the men and women who fought it. Almost every community in our region has either a World War II memorial or the graves of World War II veterans in its cemeteries. Here are a few that might be of interest:

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