Day of infamy
Friday, December 7, 2018
Before there was Sept. 11, 2001, the “date which will live in infamy” was Dec. 7, 1941. U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt uttered those words after the “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer Southeast Asian territories. The raid, which claimed some 2,400 American lives, prompted the United States to declare war against Japan the next day, hurtling the county into World War II against Germany as well.
The attack decimated the naval fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships. Of the American fatalities, nearly half were due to an explosion onboard the USS Arizona, which is the center of a memorial where ceremonies will take place today.
In this Dec. 7, 1941, photo, part of the hull of the capsized USS Oklahoma is seen at right as the battleship USS West Virginia, center, begins to sink after suffering heavy damage, while the USS Maryland, left, is still afloat. More than 75 years after the attack, DNA has been used to identify some who died and they are finally being laid to rest in cemeteries across the U.S., according to the Associated Press.