In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it’s “a date which will live in infamy.”
Friday, December 7 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and this year marks the 77th anniversary of the day hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked American troops at the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii.
According to the History Channel, nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and more than 300 airplanes were destroyed. More than 2,400 Americans, including civilians, were killed and another 1,000 people were injured.
Although the attack was a surprise, historians say Japan and the U.S. had been “edging toward war for decades.” Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan the day after the tragedy, launching the U.S. into World War II in 1941.
The USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor was established in 1962 and honors the memory of the crew of the battleship as well as the other service members and civilians who were killed in the attack. The memorial sits on top of the sunken Arizona, which is submerged in about 40 feet of water just off the coast of Ford Island, the National Parks Service says.
Ray Chavez, the nation’s oldest survivor of the attack, died in November at 106. He was a quartermaster stationed in Pearl Harbor at the time.
News 3 will attend Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story’s annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony, which will begin at 12:55 p.m. to reflect the exact time of the attack. It will be held at the chapel on base and finish with a wreath laying at the memorial located off of Nider Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
© 2018 WTKR-TV, Norfolk
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.