Many people who read this today, December 7, 1941 may not mean a lot. To some, it may mean everything. As a sailor, who has served in the United States Navy for almost 19 years now, I can say that December 7th is a date that everyone should remember.
On this date, 70 years ago today, the attack on Pearl Harbor commenced. 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo plans attached OUR base at Pearl! In the carnage that followed 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 injured. We lost 188 ships that day as well, though no ship can replace even one man or woman who was lost that day.
The attack on Pearl led to the US’s entry into World War II and the declaration of war on Japan. Several days later after German and Italy declared war on the United States, we did the same and the battle was on. This also ended a period of isolationism that the United States so desperately wanted at the time. What Japan wasn’t aware of, is that entire might of the United States came unleashed that day!
Four and a half years later, the US dropped the first of 2 atomic bombs on the Empire of Japan. Many have decried this act as foul and deplorable yet many don’t realize that nearly 10 days prior to the bombings the President warned Japan of untold consequences if they didn’t surrender. They choose not to and on August 6, 1945 the first bomb “little boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. 80,000 citizens of Japan were instantly eradicated and more than double that eventually perished from the effects of the weapon. Three days later, “fat boy” was dropped on the Port City of Nagasaki and another 40,000 were killed instantly. All told the Empire of Japan lost approximately a quarter of a million people from two weapons. Thankfully, these two events have been the only two events in the worlds history of using atomic weapons in war.
On August 15, 1945 the Empire of Japan announced is surrender to the Allied Powers. So many lives lost and world forever changed.