http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrpearlharbor.htmDo you remember why the 7th of December is so important? Do they even talk about it anymore? Where was your family at the time? Do you know or even care?
The reason I bring up 7th of December is the fact that if my father would have gone to church that morning he would have been in Pearl Harbor. He wasn’t in the military, he was born and raised on Hawaii. I remember hearing the stories as a small kid and thinking of how horrifying it must have been for a very religious family to miss church on Sunday but then I think of providence … my grandfather had a bad feeling, while he was a very devote Christian he chose to stay home that day. My Dad was out in the yard with his brothers and sisters when he heard what he described a the sound of ‘bees’ coming close. Then they realized that it was planes. With a Navy base so close that wouldn’t have been anything new but he looked up and saw a large red circle on the wing of one.
My Grandfather had come out, saw that and took the family into the mountains. They spent the day in the mountains. The could hear the explosions, feel the ground shake and knew that the world they lived in had changed. When they came home, chaos ruled.
The next day the United States was at war. The President was Franklin Roosevelt was a polio survivor and he had with his son’s help walked into congress and said ‘ Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 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.
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. But 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 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
How different would things have been if we had a congress like we have today?