Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Date that will Live in Infamy

It has always been said that there is a certain calm that comes before the storm. That was proven to be true today.
The Island was as calm as it had ever been. The sun was peeking its way over the horizon, sparkling and shimmering on the deep blue water the stretched out as far as eye could see. 
A lone sentry could be seen in the distance, rubbing his eyes to stay awake. He would be replaced soon, and he was looking forward to the bit of relaxation the day would offer. His sandy hair is blown every which way in the wind, and his blue eyes match the rippling currents of the ocean. No doubt, thoughts of the upcoming holiday race through his head. Here on the island, he's far from home. It'll be his first Christmas away, and memories of Christmas' past fill his time as he waits to be replaced. 
A little ways off the shore, nine battleships lay at anchor, silent and still in the dawning of the new day.
Suddenly, the sentry straightens, his attention riveted on something in the seemingly empty horizon.
And then, a low, faraway hum fills the air, growing just a bit closer every moment. 
"Those are our planes!" The voice comes from the command center, a little ways further up the shore. 
Confused for a moment, the sentry cocks his head. The planes seem to be coming from the wrong direction. After pondering it for a moment, he shrugs and relaxes his stance. 
The planes come in closer, a dark blot on the clear horizon. 
As they near the land, the sun glimmers off the markings on the wings. The young sentry squints his eyes to make out the shape. His chest begins to rise and fall, and his heart beats rapidly in his chest. That wasn't an American star.
That was the Rising Sun, Japan's military marking. 
Suddenly, a dark shadow falls from the lead planes, and lands in the water below.
It takes only a moment to realize what is was, as the battleship furthest out in the harbor suddenly lets forth a thunderous roar. 
That noise wasn't from the engines. 
The young sentry turns, thrusting his rifle to the ground for fear that it would slow his steps. "We're being attacked. Those aren't our planes!" His voice is frantic, but even as he yells, a feeling of dread settles in his stomach. 
It was too late. The attack had already begun, and there was no way they would ever get their defenses up in time to do any harm to the enemy. 
More explosions sound behind him, but he didn't turn to look. 
The day that had started with such innocence would never be remembered quite the same way again

December 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.

--President Roosevelt, December 8th, 1941--

Seventy-five years ago today, Pearl Harbor was bombed by the nation of Japan, ushering our entrance into WWII. So many men there woke up in the morning, and never lived to see the sun set. 
My great-grandpa was at Pearl Harbor. He lived through it, but he was one of the few. 
To all the men who served at Pear Harbor, Thank you. 
To all the doctors and nurses who served at the base hospitals, Thank you. 
And to anyone who has at any time served in our nation's military, and have been willing to give your life for our defense--Thank you for your sacrifice. 

May we never forget. December 7th, 1941—December 7th, 2016. 75 years. 

Always Remember


  1. Loved your post! And that is amazing about your great grandfather. Both of mine served in the war as well. That first day of war must have been so horrible, and to think it was only the beginning. F. Roosevelt was right when he said that the day would live in infamy.

    1. Thanks, Soleil! That's so neat! I love having people close to me who served; it seems to make so much more . . . real, I guess? xD
      Yeah, I can't even imagine. *nods* I love his words in that speech. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Aww, so glad you enjoyed it, Hann! :)

  3. Wait...back up... Your great-grandpa was a Peale harbor survivor?! That is so amazing. You need to write his story... ;)

    Awesome post!!