“Mr. Vice President [Henry A. Wallace], Mr. Speaker [Sam Rayburn], members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: yesterday, December 7th, 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.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor [Hirohito] looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador [Kichisaburō Nomura] to the United States and his colleague [Saburō Kurusu] delivered to our Secretary of State [Cordell Hull] a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”–President Franklin D. Roosevelt- ( Contents taken from Wikipedia)
Today, Carlo and I visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I’ve been there before but this was Carlo’s first time. Reading history is one thing… seeing the remnants of it are different. It completely changes it. The last time I was here, I was just looking at the ship. This time, it was different.
These are Pearl Harbor Survivors
I can’t imagine what they went through on the morning. The friends they lost or the nightmares they probably still have. But I see them smiling, taking pictures, signing autographs and I think to myself…. Those are real Heroes. I would love to sit and just talk to them, of course I couldn’t but it would be cool.
There wasn’t much I could do besides donate money to build a better Visitor Center but, I was able to do something sentimental. At the memorial, there were 2 baskets. One had flowers in it, the other names of Soldiers who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. I picked 3 names…
- Benjamin Lee Brown- USS Downes
- John Grubbs Little III- USS Utah
- Richard Esh Cade- USS Arizona
After that, I felt good. It was like my little way of saying Thank you for their service.