Today marks the 75th anniversary of that fateful day at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where 2,403 Americans were killed and another 1,178 wounded. What’s interesting to note is that all of those killed or injured were actually non-combatants — the United States was not at war at the time. The attack drew the U.S. into World War II and changed the course of history forever.
It’s said that the day would live on in infamy, those famous words spoken by President Franklin Roosevelt as he asked Congress to declare war. His speech was pointed in its incrimination of the Empire of Japan, which he accused of deceit and false statements of hope and negotiation. The words of our President are as moving today as they doubtless were on December 8th, 1941 when he spoke to our nation at one of its darkest moments.
And while we can never forget that terrible day and the aftermath of the horrible actions on it, our nation has since grown stronger, prouder, and more endued with a sense of liberty and freedom. We have encountered countless adversities and challenges. We have fought wars, both outright, unstated, and unprovoked. We have seen the specter of terrorism, fear, and power at our doorway and turned it away with might and determination. All of this has made our nation greater and our citizens safer.
So while we are remembering this day in history, let us celebrate the sacrifices we all have made to get us here. Whether it is our first responders always ready to keep us from harms way, our active and retired servicemen and women, always ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice, or those 2,403 American patriots who gave their lives that day 75 years ago. All will live in our memories. Forever.