Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

 


The Battleship West Virginia Burning

"DECEMBER 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." Thus spoke President Franklin D. Roosevelt following the attack on Pearl Harbor by over 350 Japanese aircraft. Five American battleships and three destroyers were sunk, 400 planes were destroyed and over 4000 were killed or wounded. President Roosevelt concluded: "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory...We will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us." FDR continued: "Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."

(As a note, of the over 500 words inscribed on the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, the designers chose not to include FDR's phrase "So help us God," nor any other mention of God.)

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