HONOLULU, HI – Every year on December 7, America pauses to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II.
On December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes launched an attack on the U.S. Navy’s fleet at Pearl Harbor in O’ahu, Hawaii. Japan and the U.S. had been edging toward war for decades.
The U.S. was unhappy with the way Japan treated China so they refused to trade with them–cutting off Japan’s oil supply and other resources.
The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning because they thought the U.S. soldiers would be less alert.
Twenty-one American ships were destroyed during the attack. According to the U.S. Census, 2,403 Americans were killed, and another 1,178 were wounded.
The biggest U.S. loss came when a bomb smashed through the deck of the USS Arizona. More than 1,100 Americans died when the Arizona sunk. The ship still remains sunken along with the remains of some of its crew members.
The Japanese thought if they took out the war ships in Pearl Harbor, the U.S. wouldn’t be able to fight back. But they were mistaken, and the U.S. declared war on Japan the next day.
Today, there is a memorial dedicated to the U.S. soldiers who lost their lives during the attack. The USS Arizona Memorial floats on the water above the wreckage of the USS Arizona.
On this 76th anniversary, we remember the U.S. service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.