On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes launched from six large aircraft carriers struck the United States Pacific Fleet as it lay peacefully anchored in Pearl Harbor. It was a devastating blow leading to the death of more than two thousand sailors, soldiers, and civilians and the destruction or crippling of all of the massive American battleships in harbor. Since there had been no declaration of war, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called it “a day which will live in infamy.”
Admiral Yamamoto, architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, knew that the attack was a desperate gamble. He realized that Japan had no prospect of winning a protracted war, but he hoped that a severe drubbing might convince the Americans to withdraw from the eastern Pacific. He predicted that Japan could run wild in the first six months or year of conflict, but after that he would make no promises.
Yamamoto was correct. Everything went Japan’s way for six months, but in early June 1942 the tide began to turn at a place called Midway.
May we always honor those brave Americans who stood up for us during those difficult days in 1941-42. We owe them much.