mickeym: (misc_veterans day)
[personal profile] mickeym

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 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 its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of 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. I regret to tell you that 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. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area.
The facts of yesterday and today 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.
But always will our whole nation 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 that 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 it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

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, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

A lot of time has gone by since that date. It's been 70 years. The majority of the survivors of Pearl Harbor -- and WWII in general -- are gone; the ones who are still around are in their late 80's and 90's. There's been a lot of wars and conflicts fought since then, and horrible, tragic events get lost within a tide of other horrible, tragic events.

I read an article on CNN.com yesterday, where concern was expressed by the Pearl Harbor survivors, about how it's not being mentioned much any more. Matthew told me tonight that nothing was ever mentioned in his American history class about Pearl Harbor. This makes me so sad, because tragedy -- wherever it happened, whenever it happened, whoever it happened to -- shouldn't ever be forgotten.

I've heard and read in different places (including the article linked above) that members of our government (the US, that is) made it possible for the attack to happen. I don't know how much truth there is or isn't to that. But however it came about, it needs to be remembered.

It needs to be remembered so it never happens again, anywhere, ever.

Date: 2011-12-07 01:17 pm (UTC)
embroiderama: (WWI boys)
From: [personal profile] embroiderama
Thanks for posting this. Honestly, I don't know as much about Pearl Harbor as I probably should. And, you know, I went to good schools; my high school in particular was the top of the heap around here at the time (20 years ago) and my AP US History teacher in 11th grade was a pretty awesome teacher, very challenging. But we were right around the turn of the century when we got near the end of the school year, and then we got some brief highlights of the 20th century in about two weeks. In middle school, we only went up through the Civil War; nobody at any time seems interested in teaching us the history of WWI or all the social change that happened around/after it or WWII or anything after that. In fact, most of my class didn't do very well on the AP test that year because the big essay question was on Wilson's 14 Points.

I don't understand why it was so important to linger over relatively minor details of the 18th and 19th centuries while ignoring the 20th century when we were 90 years into the 20th century. School can be weird sometimes.

Date: 2011-12-07 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zillahseye.livejournal.com
About ten years ago, my teenage coworkers at the old job were talking about the Ben Affleck movie and one of them wondered aloud, "I wonder if that was like, based on a true story."

Date: 2011-12-07 08:20 pm (UTC)
copracat: dreamwidth vera (Default)
From: [personal profile] copracat
I can tell you that it is definitely not forgotten on the current Hawaii 5-0.


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