Pearl Harbor Remembrance

Posted on Dec 7 2009 - 6:00am by Harrison

Today is the 68th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  We remember all those who died today and the lessons that such an attack teach us for the future.

Here is what President Franklin Roosevelt said:

Yesterday, Dec. 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.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

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.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

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.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. jd December 7, 2009 at 9:04 AM -

    to this day, an incredibly powerful and moving speech that doesn’t provide halfspeak or concession. in short: we were ambushed, the enemy is violent and deceitful, and we will have victory.

    • Harrison December 7, 2009 at 11:58 AM -

      Yes and FDR didn’t speak about the costs of it, either.

  2. Dean December 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM -

    Thanks for posting this. We can never forget.

  3. Joe Markowitz December 7, 2009 at 11:59 AM -

    While on vacation in Hawaii this summer, my family visited the USS Arizona memorial (my second visit), which never fails to be a moving experience. We also saw, on the north shore, the site of a radar station where a couple of radar operators actually tracked the approaching Japanese planes for about 30 minutes. Their commanding officer told them to ignore what they were seeing, however, thinking it was returning friendly forces. The state of radar interpretation was so unproven at that time, that it seems people were hesitant to rely on it, or perhaps could not believe what they were seeing. Had the sailors in Pearl Harbor had that half hour warning, most likely many lives could have been saved.
    .-= Joe Markowitz´s last blog ..Misunderstanding Science =-.

    • Harrison December 7, 2009 at 12:04 PM -

      I knew about the radar installation but didn’t know they were told to ignore it. Radar was still viewed suspiciously by many at that time. I know that the Germans were very late to get on board with it until the Brits proved to them that it was something they needed to use, too.

  4. Matthew December 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM -

    Yes, we should remember Dec 7. However, it’s hard enough to get people to remember September 11th
    .-= Matthew´s last blog ..Vote in Our Poll: Is There a War on Christmas? =-.

    • Harrison December 7, 2009 at 1:55 PM -

      Maybe not remembering 9/11 but how to remember it…

  5. vulcanhammer December 7, 2009 at 4:27 PM -

    Great post…just reading FDR’s speech gives me goosebumps. Created a link on my blog.
    .-= vulcanhammer´s last blog ..Hide The Decline–ClimateGate =-.

    • Harrison December 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM -

      Thank you!

  6. burro December 7, 2009 at 6:12 PM -

    What better way to commemorate this event other than court-martialing some Navy Seals for roughing up a terrorist who killed Americans, mangled their bodies, and hung the corpses from a bridge.

    “Hostilities exist.”

    This is what the Seals should say in their defense.
    .-= burro´s last blog ..Baracktile Dysfunction: Nice Work if You Can Get It =-.