Waukee High School ● Online Newspaper

Dec. 7th – A Day That Will Live In Infamy

December 7, 2016

December 7th, 1941. It is a warm Sunday morning. American sailors are mostly lying around in a drunken sleep after a Saturday night of shore leave and partying. Around 8 am, some American sailors are awoken out of their warm slumber by the sound of plane engines. The serene Hawaiian morning is shredded by planes flashing by overhead. Seconds later, a massive explosion sends fire and gore flying across the previously pristine Pearl Harbor. The Empire of the Rising Sun has just launched an aggressive surprise attack on America. Erupting in bullets, bombs and blood, World War II has just become a truly global war.

In two waves of fighters dispatched from aircraft carriers, the Japanese Navy launched an incredibly successful surprise attack on the American Navy docked at Pearl Harbor. In just two hours, the Japanese force destroyed nearly 20 ships including 8 battleships as well as 300 American planes on the ground. The American Navy was crippled but, unfortunately for the Japanese, all the American aircraft carriers were out of port. President Roosevelt in his speech to Congress the next day called the 7th “a day that will live in infamy.” He then asked Congress to declare war on the Empire of Japan. “I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

December 7th 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is going to be visiting Pearl Harbor and will be the first Japanese Prime Minister to ever do so. His visit goes a long way to acknowledge what the Japanese did. Obama previously was the first president to visit Hiroshima, the city where the USA dropped an atomic bomb in order to end World War II. As we look forward to a powerful alliance between Japan and the US, it never hurts to remember our history and honor those who fought on both sides.

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