Friday, December 7, 2018

Seventy-seven Years Ago Today, The Japanese Bombed Pearl Harbor and Brought America into World War II

     Today you will find the The USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see destination for all individuals coming to Hawaii, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year from all over the world, but on the morning of December 7, 1941 it was a completely different picture as the Japanese planes devastated paradise and the American Pacific Fleet.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japan launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as part of a plan to eliminate any potential challenge to Japanese conquests in Asia. The attack compelled the United States to enter World War II as a combatant, and to wage a costly, bloody struggle to defeat the Japanese empire.  Peter Harris wrote, “the attack dramatically altered U.S. foreign relations, sidelining isolationism as a powerful force in domestic politics and making overseas engagement the accepted norm.”

     The U.S.S. Arizona which was moored next to a repair ship when the attack began, was struck by several Japanese bombs and exploded in flames as it sank. More than 1,100 service members were killed, including Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd and the ship’s commanding officer.

     President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." On that day, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans. It completely destroyed the American battleship U.S.S. Arizona and capsized the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The attack sank or beached a total of twelve ships and damaged nine others. 160 aircraft were destroyed and 150 others damaged. The attack took the country by surprise, especially the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base.