From Senator Ted Cruz
When I was very young, maybe 5, my maternal grandmother told me the story of my 3 uncles, all at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. At 5, I had no clue what it meant. But nearly every year, on this day and others, she told me that story. As I got older and began to grasp the meaning, I also started to ask questions. I learned that George McConnell was stationed on the base there, and 2 of his brothers were in port. Those 2 brothers lived through the Japanese attack, because, like many others, they had received shore leave that day – to visit older brother George. In later years, each time Grace, a nurse, told me this story she made sure to emphasize those that did not make it home. Today we remember those men and women. And I thank God for Grace McConnell Murray, who taught me to revere this day, and why. – Lu Esposito
On this day 72 years ago, December 7, 1941, our great country was attacked by the Empire of Japan. More than 2,400 were killed and 1,100 wounded in Pearl Harbor. We must remember. Traditionally, old Glory is flown at half-staff until sunset in honor of those who died. See a full list of those who perished here.
Four of our Navy battleships were sunk and four more were damaged. In addition, three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer were damaged or sunk.
On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan. Watch his speech.
Why Was Pearl Harbor Attacked?
“The Japanese dreamed of an Empire in Asia and began their quest in early 1931. They overran Manchuria and established it as a state, which they named Manchukuo. Moving into China, the Japanese were initially successful, but ultimately encountered the resistance of the Chinese, under the government Chiang Kai-shek. A crisis arose in 1937, when Japan launched a major offensive in an effort to reduce China into submission.” Read more about the Attack, learn about the Commanders of the Pacific Fleet, why the U.S. was unprepared, and the two waves of attack (air and sea) here.
More History From Timeanddate.com:
“On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the American Army and Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The attack came as a surprise to the American Army and Navy and lead to great losses of life and equipment. More than 2000 American citizens were killed and more than 1000 were injured. The Americans also lost a large proportion of their battle ships and nearly 200 aircraft that were stationed in the Pacific region. More than 60 Japanese servicemen were killed, injured or captured. The Japanese Navy also lost five midget submarines and 29 aircraft.
The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States of America from increasing her influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and so entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy”. Shortly afterwards, Germany also declared war on the United States. In the months that followed the attack, the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” swept the United States and radio stations repeatedly played a song of the same name.
In 1991, which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.”
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@USSArizona will be live-tweeting Pearl Harbor facts throughout the day today. Check back as we will update our remembrance blog to include some of their tweets.