We all must remember the actions of Dec. 7, 1941


Dec. 7, 1941 — “A date which will live in infamy.”

Those iconic words from then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt not only captured the gravity of the situation that took place 78 years ago, but accurately predicted its impact on the nation. That date does, in fact, live in infamy.

Just before 8 a.m. on a Hawaiian Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes arrived at Naval Station Pearl Harbor with ill intent in their heart. They destroyed or damaged 20 American vessels, more than 300 planes, wounded 1,000 people and, ultimately, killed more than 2,400 Americans, according to history.com. That is a shot to America’s heart.

On Dec. 8, 1941, the U.S. Congress voted to approve Roosevelt’s declaration of war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy (Japan’s allies) declared war on the United States. The United States then declared war on those nations, as well, meaning that after more than two years of fighting during World War II, the United States had officially joined the fray.

According to nationalww2museum.org, 418,500 Americans died in World War II, a number that is close to the modern-day populations of Minneapolis and Oakland. The loss of American life from that war is staggering, but the contributions and impact made by those heroic sacrifices, and the way the nation bonded together in a time of an externally-applied atrocity is inspiring and legendary in the annals of this nation.

We honor those who gave their lives in the attacks at Pearl Harbor, as well as all of those who jumped in for the greater good in its aftermath. It was, as Roosevelt stated, a date which will live in infamy.