By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog
December 7, 1941 was also a picture-perfect Sunday at the beginning of the Christmas season when tranquility was interrupted by a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a result of the cowardly aerial assault, the U.S. entered World War II started by Germany in 1939 with the invasion of Poland.
The attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time when 360 Japanese warplanes descended on the US naval base lasting for 2 hours. When it ended, a total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded. About 200 airplanes and 20 naval ships were destroyed in the attack, including the USS Arizona. The Pacific fleet was rendered useless: five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed.
The day after the attack, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “[y]esterday, 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 U.S. declared war on Japan, and in retaliation, Italy and Germany, which were allies of Japan, declared war on the U.S.
The war lasted four years and it claimed more than 400,000 American lives.
America why we must maintain a strong national defense, along with a well-trained, well-equipped military. The tenacity, devotion and perseverance of those that fought, may their memory strengthen our resolve so that we never forget and take for granted what we have today.
In New Jersey 2,160 of our military died in combat, and 2,765 were wounded.
The theme for New Jersey’s World War II Memorial is “Victory,” which honors and pays tribute to the courage and the many sacrifices of the World War II generation.
God Bless America and the thousands that died to defend her . . . and I pray we never have our shores breached ever again