Going Coastal

Pear Harbor Day - December 7

7 December 2016 – An Event Which Will Live in Infamy

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 citizens of the United States who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.


On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103–308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died because of the attack on U.S. Military and naval forces in Hawaii.


On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Japanese Air Service attacked Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, without warning and without a declaration of war, killing 2,403 American non-combatants, and injuring 1,178 others. The attack sank two U.S. Navy battleships and damaged five others. It also damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer. Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged.


Canada declared war on Japan within hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the first Western nation to do so. On December 8, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II on the side of the Allies. In a speech to Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor "a date which will live in infamy."


Hawaiian Island Historic Sites
In Pearl Harbor:

1.    The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated on May 30, 1962 ("Memorial Day") in honor of the 1,177 crew members who were killed. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.


2.    The USS Oklahoma Memorial is in remembrance of a battleship that was sunk which lost 429 men on December 7, 1941.


3.    The USS Utah Memorial, is in remembrance of a battleship that was sunk in the attack on December 7, 1941. A memorial to honor the crew including the 58 who died aboard the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship's wreck, in 1972.


In Honolulu:

4.    The USS Missouri Memorial, is the last battleship built nicknamed the "Mighty Mo". The surrender of the Japanese on the deck of the USS Missouri brought the end of World War II.


5.    The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, is in remembrance of an American submarine that sunk 44 ships in World War II.


6.    The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.


Activities on December 7

Many organizations, especially those linked with Pearl Harbor survivors or those who died from the attack, participate in special services to commemorate the event. Memorial services are held at venues such as the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Other activities include: wreath-laying ceremonies; keynote speeches by those associated with the event; media stories on survivors’ recollections of the Pearl Harbor attack and school activities to educate students about the attack on Pearl Harbor in relation to World War II history.


In 1991, which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.


On December 7, 2016, say “thanks” to all military personnel you know. The American military is a key reason our country is still free.



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