By Mick Holien
Indeed it was accurate to be described 76 years ago today Dec 7 in 1941 as “A Day of Infamy.”
The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor vaulted the United States into World War II after this country, led at the time by President Roosevelt, stayed clear of the conflict brought about when Germany Invaded Poland.
Historians argue memory of World War I casualties and the Great Depression might have contributed to the period of isolationism although the U.S. had aided Great Britain in their resistance of the Nazis in Europe.
After the Japanese struck Pearl disabling the majority of the Pacific fleet and Roosevelt’s famous speech, it took Congress slightly less than an hour to declare war.
Dec 7 was a sleepy day in Hawaii when the unthinkable occurred with the barrage of aircraft from Japanese carriers striking Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu and the harbor near Waikiki Beach.
The death toll neared that of the terrorist attack on Sept 11, 2001.
The battle ship U.S.S. Arizona took the blunt of the attack and sank with casualties entombed forever inside. The memorial is a must visit point if you are on the island but I encourage you to take the tour that allows you get off on the memorial situated directly atop of the vessel. I stood on that deck with the Lady Griz on the 50th anniversary.
The ship sustained the largest loss of 1,177 sailors part of the 2,403 who perished.
The dead consisted of 2,008 Navy personnel, 218 Army, and 109 Marines and 68 civilians and 1,000 were wounded while a reported 55 Japanese died.
Eight battleships were among the 20 damaged vessels, 300 aircraft were damaged or destroyed.
Most of the survivors – now in their mid 90s – are gone now with five known from the Arizona, while one from the Condor, according to NBC News was 105 this summer.
The main recognition will begin at Pearl at 4:50 mst with a moment of silence at 4:55 the exact time of the attack. MST is three hours ahead
Of course it is all on Utube today, Facebook accounts and at www.pearlharborevents .com.
A day to remember and a Day of Infamy.