Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day History

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day seeks to honor the victims of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, an American Naval Station.  The attack is often cited as the catalyst for American involvement in the Second World War, given that President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan the following day.

At 8am on December 7th, 1941, without prior warning, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked a Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, located on Oahu, Hawaii.  The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes. In total, 2,403 people perished, another 1,178 were injured, four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk and 188 aircrafts were destroyed.  The aim of the attack was to immobilize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which would allow Japan to advance into Malaya and Dutch East Indies.  On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress passed Public Law 103-308 to designate December 7 of each year as the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Facts & Quotes

  • Within hours of the attack, Canada was the first nation to declare war on Japan. The United States declared war the following day.
  • The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was established by the United States Congress on November 5, 1990.  U.S. Armed Forces veterans and civilians who served, were injured or killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor were eligible to receive the medal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack.  (Public Law 101-510, 104 Stat. 1721 and Public Law. 104-201, 110 Stat. 2654)
  • The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962 to mark the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and marines who died on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • ...commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor will instill in all people of the United States a greater understanding and appreciation of the selfless sacrifice of the individuals who served in the armed forces of the United States during World War II... (Public Law 103-308)
  • Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  This speech by President Roosevelt is widely cited and referred to as the Infamy Speech or Pearl Harbor Speech.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu Island in Hawaii.
  • Attend the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the invasion of Pearl Harbor.  Ceremonies will be held at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Honolulu, Hawaii between December 3-11, 2016
  • Spend some time learning about the Second World War and the US involvement that began after Pearl Harbor.
  • Attend a remembrance ceremony at your local naval club, army base, naval base, or museum of war.
  • Watch movies about Pearl Harbor and World War II.  Here are some recommendations:
    1) Pearl Harbor (2001)
    2) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    3) Inglorious Basterds (2009)
    4) Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    5) Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
    6) Empire of the Sun (1987)
    7) The Longest Day (1962)
    8) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
    9) Schindler's List (1993)
    10) The Pianist (2002)

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