Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Honoring Those Lost-69th Anniversary of The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Today, the 7th of December, 2010, marks the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The first wave of Japanese bombers hit Battleship Row at 7:51 a.m. and the second struck at 8:30 a.m. Nine Navy ships were sunk and 21 were heavily damaged. In addition, 188 military aircraft were destroyed when nearby airfields were also attacked. Over 2400 lost their lives.

The photo above shows the moment when an overhead bomb struck the forward magazine of the USS Arizona. The Arizona lost nearly 1200 sailors.

This is how the Arizona looks today:

It is sad knowing that all those men aboard the Arizona are still entombed in the ship. Oil still leaks out from the wreckage, like a constant reminder echoing her great loss.

The Arizona Memorial was dedicated in 1962 and has about one million visitors each year. The white, open-air design gracefully and delicately stands above the remains of the ship. On the walls are the names of the men who went down with the Arizona.

Unknown to many, there is another memorial in Pearl Harbor. The USS Utah:
The Utah was capsized during the December 7th attack. 58 sailors, including 6 officers, were killed.  After the attack, the Navy attempted to right the ship but the effort failed. The ship rests on her side on the edge of the harbor:

Until the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, the United States stayed out of the war  that began on September 1, 1939 when German forces invaded Poland. The day after the attack, December 8th, President Franklin Roosevelt gave his heart-felt "Infamy speech" and declared war on the Empire of Japan.

From 1942 to the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, American Naval and Marine forces fought fiercely against Japan. American forces also joined the Allied in Europe in an effort to stomp out the evil, Nazi Regime. Many, many lost their lives yet their sacrifice will never been forgotten.

So, on this sacred day, let's take a moment to remember those lost on this day, 69 years ago.

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