America recalls ambush

Next Tuesday, the United States flag will rest at half staff in honor of those who were injured or lost their lives to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day has been observed on Dec. 7 every year since 1966.

“On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and we honor all those who selflessly served our Nation at home and abroad during World War II,” said President Barack Obama.

More than 2000 were killed and 1000 injured in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor.  Most of the battleships and almost 200 aircraft stationed in the Pacific region were lost. President Franklin D. Roosevelt labeled the date “a date which will live in infamy” in an address to Congress.

Although the Japanese had hoped the ambush would encourage continued American isolation, the attack had the opposite effect, according to the Website Dec. 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan. Declaring war on Japan removed the isolationistic policy the U.S. had maintained. Germany declared war on the U.S. shortly after.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the attack, former President Lyndon B. Johnson made a presidential proclamation honoring those affected by the attack.

“On this day let us all pause to reflect upon the supreme sacrifice made by so many Americans at Pearl Harbor and during the grim struggle which followed,” said former President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. “Let us reaffirm our dedication to the principles of freedom and justice, the cornerstones of our Nation.”