Pearl Harbor: 'This is a day that will live in infamy'

Take a moment to remember Pearl Harbor, the start of World War II, and the sacrifices for freedom. Photo: Pearl Harbor veterans/ AP

WASHINGTON, December 6, 2013 — Tomorrow, December 7th is a “day that will live in infamy,” or not. Today, there are few remembrances for 7 December, Pearl Harbor day.

Many Americans may not even know what happened, even though many of their great grandparents lived through this tragedy, this day of infamy.

Pearl Harbor was the site of a surprise attack on the United States by Japanese military forces on December 7, 1941. Japanese ships and airplanes attacked the United States naval base on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

Military personnel were at church or enjoying family life on the beautiful Islands when the attack happened. The attack caused heavy casualties and destroyed much of the American Pacific Fleet.

“Remember Pearl Harbor” became the rallying cry for the country.

The attack was also the spark that brought the United States into World War II. It ended all discussion of whether the U.S. should become involved.

American participation was a crucial factor in turning the tide in favor of Allied nations, including the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Soviet Union, against the Axis nations, headed by Japan, Germany and Italy.

After the attack, the nation rallied. President Roosevelt declared war on December 8 without any discussion by Congress. The war effort began. Enlisting in the service began, plans for preparing a military buildup began.

Major corporations joined in with the planning and “Rosie the Riveter” was born. As the battles commenced many banners with a red star and/ or a gold star, indicating a family member in service, or that had died in service, hung in the windows of American homes.

Basic training for some of the older recruits was rough to the point their feet bled due to the extensive marching and calisthenics. Military bases were totally mobilized.

Many young people today do not understand the difficulties of the war, not only for those fighting but also for those left behind wondering daily about the fate of their loved ones. In those days, soldiers did not have the advantage of Skype, or cell phones and the ones they left stateside were often left without a message for months at a time.

Take a moment to remember this day and was the beginning of World War II. Remember the many lives that were lost and the sacrifices by the country so we could remain free. 

“Remember Pearl Harbor”.

However, that’s from a place and time I am from-

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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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