Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Pearl Harbor at 07:48 of December 7, 1941. The Imperial Japanese Navy struck in two waves, launching from aircraft carriers off Hawai’i. All eight of the U.S. Navy battleships at the naval base were damaged, and four of them were sunk. Three of the four were later raised; the USS Arizona is still at the bottom. Six of the ships were able to return to service to fight in WWII. In addition, eight other vessels were damaged or sunk. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed. The most tragic was the number of lives lost: 2403 Americans. 1178 were wounded.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous line, “a date which will live in infamy”, came in response to this attack, in his speech on December 8, 1941. Shortly after the speech, Congress declared war on Japan, bringing the US officially into WWII. In response, Germany and Italy declared war on the US on December 11, 1941, with the US declaring war on them as well.
Today, the oldest known living vet, Ray Chavez, is in Hawai’i to honor those who died in the attacks. He is 104 years young.