Seventy-five years ago today, the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor suddenly and without provocation found itself under attack by the Empire of Japan. My dad tells me he remembers exactly where he was when he first heard the news. “I was coming out of the State Theater (Easton, Pennsylvania) with my first love, and there were newsboys on Northampton Street shouting ‘Extra! Extra! Read all about it!’That’s what used to happen in those days. That’s when I saw Pearl Harbor had been attacked.”
Sunday, December 7th had dawned beautifully in Hawaii, but the air quickly turned heavy and dark with Japanese bombers and the smoke of damaged ships. Beginning at 7:55 a.m., the attack lasted 110 minutes, and when the last Japanese bomber disappeared, over 2,300 men were dead, along with 1,143 wounded. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress on the following day to ask for a Declaration of War, he called December 7, 1941 “a day which will live in infamy.”
Seventy-five years later, we remember that terrible day, the sacrifices made by young men just starting their lives, as well as their families and friends at home, where fear and apprehension turned to prayer for strength and guidance for the coming days. A few months later, my dad joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and would spend some of his most important years fighting putting his life on the line in the European Theater.
To all who served in that war, a grateful nation will always remember you. God bless you!