Dec. 7th is coming up. The date is important to the U.S. because it marks the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
World War II started in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. During the first two years of the war the U.S. remained neutral but supplied Great Britain, the Soviet Union and China with war material on lend-lease. The U.S. also deployed several troops to Iceland to replace British invasion forces.
The U.S. was able to remain neutral until Japanese forces attacked the U.S. naval base, Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th. The Japanese sent 353 bombers and torpedo planes to the base. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 were wounded.
On Dec. 8th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went in front of Congress to declare war on Japan. The speech he made is now known as the Infamy Speech because of the famous line he gave to describe the events that took place the day before. The opening line of his speech began, “a date which will live in infamy.” It took Congress an hour to pass a declaration of war on Japan and marked the date which brought the U.S. into the war. Three days later Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The United States countered by declaring war on Germany and Italy.
The U.S. was involved in the war from that moment on until the Japanese surrendered after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in Aug. of 1945. Because Japan was the last standing Axis power, its surrender marked the end of World War II.
Although the attack took place 71 years ago, Dec. 7th is remembered by many. The past few years the day has gone unnoticed. Dec. 7th is right between Thanksgiving and Christmas so people more than likely have their minds on those holidays but Dec. 7th should still be remembered because of its significance.
Everyone who is old enough to remember knows what happened on Sept. 11. I was in fourth grade when I first heard about the terrorist attacks that day. I was unaware of it until my dad picked me up from school. He had the radio on and the station he was listening to was talking about it. 11 years later we still remember what happened.
For my generation, the attack on Pearl Harbor may go unnoticed. Sept. 11 was so recent that many people remember what happened but Pearl Harbor happened 71 years ago. Not many people will remember what happened on that day.
I don’t personally know anyone involved in World War II but I try to remember the day for what it was, “a date which will live in infamy.” I try to post on Twitter or Facebook about dates like this so people will read my post and will know the significance of those days.