"A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY"
On a serene Sunday morning over 70 years ago, the skies over Pearl Harbor were darkened by the bombs of Japanese forces in a surprise and unprovoked attack that tested the resilience of our Armed Forces and the will of this country. As explosions sounded and battleships burned, brave service members fought back fiercely with everything they could find.
In the wake of this bombing and the crippling of our Pacific Fleet, there were those who declared the United States had been reduced to a third-class power. But rather than break the spirit of our Nation, the attack brought Americans together and fortified our resolve. Patriots across our country answered the call to defend our way of life at home and abroad. They crossed oceans and stormed beaches, freeing millions from the grip of tyranny and proving that our military is the greatest force for liberty and security the world has ever known or probably ever will. On the home front, dedicated civilians supported the war effort by repairing wrecked battleships, working in factories, and joining civilian defense organizations to help with salvage programs and plant Victory gardens. At this time of great strife, we reminded the world there is no challenge we cannot meet and there is no challenge we cannot overcome.
On the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor President Franklin Roosevelt in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is "a date which will live in infamy". The United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II.
On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor more than 3,500 Americans killed or wounded during that deadly attack and pay tribute to the heroes whose courage ensured our Nation would recover from this vicious blow. Their tenacity helped define the Greatest Generation and their valor fortified all who served during World War II. As a Nation, we look to December 7, 1941, to draw strength from the example set by these patriots and to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedom.
As we fight the war on terror, their patriotism continues to inspire a new generation of Americans who have been called to defend the blessings of liberty. Like those who have gone before them throughout our history, our troops fighting the war on terror are defending America from danger and liberating the oppressed.
According to some sources every 90 seconds, a World War II veteran dies; every day, 1,000 World War II veterans die.
The above is compiled from several different speeches given over the last few years.
According to tradition the U.S. flag is usually flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset in honor of these great patriots of our fine country.
For God and Country,