Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Day
by Janet Andrew

Many people will remember today as the Anniversary of the attack of Pearl Harbor.  On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 at approximately 7:55 am the sound of the Japanese war planes were heard in Hawaii.  Without any declaration of war or any additional warning, the attack began.  In two short hours, the Japanese had destroyed four of the United States battleships and damaged another four, while killing over 2,400 Americans. Overall the United States lost more than 300 planes and 21 ships in this devastating attack.  

This attack was planned against the United States so that Japan could destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet, that was located at Pearl Harbor.  The Japanese had a well laid out plan for the attack, catching the United States by surprise.  Japan was worried about the United States interfering with their plans to take over the Dutch East Indies and Malaya so they could have access to some of their resources such as rubber and oil.  Japan's hopes were to also destroy the morale of the United States and to keep them from interfering with any future wars or attacks against them.  Needless to say, Japan went away victorious over the United States with their surprise attack.  

Unfortunately Japan had badly misjudged the United States. Under the leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this attack was not taken lightly.  They did not destroy the morale of the United States, they only forced them to show, that the United States was not going to go down quietly.  The President declared this day as a "date which will live in infamy."  The next day he ask Congress for a declaration of war, which was approved unanimously.  Various smaller raids by the United States began against Japan.  This became the beginning of what we know, as World War II. 

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