December 7, 2017 marked the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on an American military base, Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. The bombing sparked the official entrance of the United States into World War II.
According to the website History, Japanese fighter planes demolished almost 20 warships and hundreds of planes, leaving 3,400 people dead or injured, including citizens of the area. Although this strike was not expected, Japan and the United States had experienced years of disagreements regarding the Asian nation’s relationship with China.
According to then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Peal Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy.” To this day, his words ring true as we remember the horrors of the attack in numerous ways throughout the nation.
As seen in our own Lakewood High School, flags are often lowered to half-mast out of respect for the Americans who lost their lives. According to Time and Date, special memorial services are often organized at locations including the USS Arizona, a monument on the site of Pearl Harbor. Many United States citizens continue, year after year, to put flowers and wreaths on the graves of those who died, especially family members.
Veterans who survived the attack and are still alive 76 years later are also honored in various ways. For instance, according to Time Magazine, 20 gathered at the USS Arizona, in the presence of 2,000 Navy soldiers. The Americans crowded to pay their respects for those who were not so lucky.
The horrors of Pearl Harbor resonate with the United States today as they did nearly eight decades ago. This event, along with other tragedies witnessed by the country, serve as a reminder of the strong Americans who died for us and for their nation. Let us continue to honor these men and women, on Pearl Harbor Day and every other day.