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Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
Hosted by Frank Amato
Lest We Forget - Pearl Harbor - 12/7/1941
GSPatton
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,410 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009 - 08:46 AM UTC
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has therefore undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - December 8, 1941

To all who were at Pearl, to all who gave that last full measure of devotion - Thank You and God Bless you.
calvin_ng
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: June 23, 2008
KitMaker: 1,024 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009 - 12:23 PM UTC
This is a day, every American should remember.
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retiredbee2
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 04, 2008
KitMaker: 757 posts
AeroScale: 16 posts
Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009 - 03:03 PM UTC
My best friend's father was on a battleship at pearl. A personal friend of mine was a guest of the Japanese , was picked up after his cruiser was sunk. Spent the war in a Jap POW camp and you know what that was like. Both of them have passed away and I am very proud of their service and sacrifice.
russamotto
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Utah, United States
Joined: December 14, 2007
KitMaker: 3,389 posts
AeroScale: 375 posts
Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009 - 08:31 PM UTC
There is a lot to remember regarding Pearl Harbor and the subsequent attacks all across the Pacific. Some of the most important are the failures to recognize the potential threat fully, failure to prepare adequately, failure to convey information, and in spite of all the warnings given, failure to recognzie what was happening when the attack was underway. Vigilance, not only against a foriegn threat, but also against complacency, ignorance, incompetence and procrastination here at home are the lessons.

For perspective, read about life in Japan in the first half of the century. The class structure in the military, ideas concerning the value of and power over life, and how recruits and the lowest ranking soldiers were treated are interesting, sometimes astonishing subjects. Oriental throught is different from Western thought. Consider the game of chess, in which everyone is expendable in defence of the king.

As much hatred as there was in the US against Japan, it is also interesting to note the efforts made by US soldiers to spare lives, try to take prisoners, and protect Japanese civilians, particulary at Saipan and Okinawa. There was a distinct difference in the value of an individual's life between the two cultures.

As for the two bombs, they probably saved a million allied casualties, and Japan from destruction. My father was drafted in the fall of 1945. Instead of participating in the invasion of Japan he was sent to occupied Germany. His life may have been one of those saved.

A lot of people remember that the attack on Pearl Harbor took place, and know that it put us at war. Most don't know why it occurred. To do that they will have to choose on their own to learn about it. Knowlege leads to independance, and that is the foundation of freedom.
AJLaFleche
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
AeroScale: 328 posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 04:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.



The diplomats in question were, in fact, delivering a declaration of war, but were delayed. The actions of the Japanese were not entirely without provocation since the US had imposed an oil embargo and was supporting, despite claims of neutrality, allied efforts in the Far East. There had been expectations an attack for some time, though without specificity. The idea of a "sneak attack" today would be referred to as a "preemptive strike" by the nation doing the striking. Certainly, one nation doesn't telegraph its adversary the time and place of an attack. (Imagine, if you will this conversation, "Hello, Erwin? Ike here. Listen, we'll be landing in Normandy on the morning of 6 June. Yes, I know you weren't expecting that site, but we thought it would work well for us. See you there. Oh, and Mamie says "Hello" to you and the Fraulein." Or, to the point, "Hello, Frank? Emperor Hiro here. How's it going, old chap. Hey, our imperial planes wills be dropping some bombs, torpedoes and stuff on your guys at Pearl next Sunday morning. I know, church and all, but that's really the only space on our imperial calendar. Have your girl call our imperial Geisha, we'll do lunch. All my best to Eli." ) For propoganda purposes, not a bad thing, the full truth was downplayed and has become almost more real than the objective facts.
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