[UPDATE] As of Friday, Speaker Ryan’s statement was updated to include all 2,403 Americans lost on December 7th, 1941.
On Wednesday, as the nation remembered the fallen heroes of the attack on Pearl Harbor that occurred on December 7, 1941, leaders of our great nation were sharing their tributes to the service members who lost their lives 75 years ago today. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan posted a statement to his website to honor those involved in the attack, however, there was one glaring factual error that stood out among the medley of kind words.
After noting the moment that the attack on the Hawaii naval base began, Speaker Ryan mentions the number of lives lost as a result of the surprise hit by the Japanese. Unfortunately, his count leaves off some individuals.
“It was 7:48am in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the planes arrived,” the statement read. “Our troops awoke to a barrage from hundreds of Japanese aircraft overhead. But they didn’t panic or hide—they fought back.”
“We lost 2,400 Americans that day,” Ryan’s statement continued. “These brave men and women died, like many before and after them, fighting to protect our freedoms. The attack may have sunk battleships and taken lives, but it did not sink our resolve.”
While Paul Ryan gets close with his number, the actual death toll of that day is 2,403. Three lives seem to have gone unmentioned by the Speaker of the House as he rounded the number down to make it an even 2,400.
Surprisingly, Speaker Ryan was not the only elected official to do so. Congressman Frank LoBiondo from New Jersey and Congresswoman Diane Black from Tennessee were both spotted to have made the same unfortunate error.
While readers brought the attention of these three Reps having a mishap remembering the total lives lost on that tragic day 75 years ago, it is unclear if there are more elected officials who did the same and have yet to be discovered. Though they may have not mentioned every single one of the 2,403 fallen heroes, every single one will most certainly not be forgotten by freedom loving Americans.