Dec. 7, 1941.
That was 71 years ago today.
That’s a long time ... 71 years. A very long time. If you asked people today what event occurred 71 years ago today, many of them would probably have to stop and think for a moment before answering.
That was the date when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor without warning,
Prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the invasion of Pearl Harbor stood out as the most-devastating single attack on the United States.
Dec. 7, 1941.
A total of 2,335 U.S. service members were killed that morning, and 1,143 were injured. Sixty-eight civilians were also killed, and 35 were wounded. These numbers were far more than the number of Japanese that were killed. Only 65 Japanese lost their lives.
The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. Thousands of U.S. families were broken up that day. Their lives would never be the same again with family members being killed. That’s what happens when more than 2,300 people become victims of war.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the U. S. president at that time, and most people remember his famous statement proclaiming Dec. 7, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy.”
And that day did live in infamy.
Just for the record, Pearl Harbor is on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and is home to a U.S. naval base.
The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed Americans would be more relaxed and thus less alert on a weekend.
The Japanese launched their airplanes in two waves, approximately 45 minutes apart. The first wave of Japanese planes struck Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. The second wave reached Pearl Harbor around 8:40 a.m.
The United States declared war on Japan on Dec. 8, 1941, the day following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Remember Pearl Harbor!” became a rallying cry for the U.S. during World War II.
That remained a rallying cry until after the war was over.
During 1944 and 1945, the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key West Pacific islands, eventually dropping atomic bombs on the country.
The Soviet Union followed through by declaring war on Japan and invading Manchuria. The Empire of Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, ending the war in Asia and cementing the total victory of the Allies.
It was a great day in August of 1945 for the United States when World War II came to an end. The Korean and the Vietnam wars would follow soon, but not until 9/11 in 2001 did the U.S. ever come under attack on the home front again. That’s when a series of four coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania shocked the country.
Nineteen terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaida hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally flew two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, with both towers collapsing within two hours.
Those crashes, and those that followed at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, changed the way Americans lived, just as Pearl Harbor had done 71 years ago today.
We all hope and pray that nothing like these two tragedies will ever happen again.
Dec. 7, 1941.
Student loan fix shouldn’t require huge political battle
College is a time when young men and women hit the books to prepare themselves to enter the workforce in their chosen profession.
College-level math and science and literature are tough courses.
Appropriate rationale, safety go away in face of drug addiction
The No. 1 prescribed drug among Medicare patients in West Virginia isn’t for heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
No, it’s the very powerful narcotic hydrocodone-acetaminophen, known by brand names like Lortab, Lorcet, Dolorex and Vicodin.
Three Rivers Festival offers chance for city to celebrate
What were you doing 34 years ago?
That was when the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival was born.
It didn’t start out as the Three Rivers Festival. It actually started over Labor Day weekend in 1980 and it was called Septemberfest.
Seizure of AP phone records is an insult to an independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
We change — at least a little — after each attack
How well do we remember the world as it was before 9/11?
Do we remember what airline security was like? Life before the Patriot Act? What was the school environment like before school shooting at Columbine and Sandy Hook?
Record-breaking years for Pierpont, FSU give students strong opportunities
When people make the decision to further their education — whether they’re going to college immediately after high school or heading back to the classroom after several years of being in the workforce — there are plenty of potential obstacles to consider.
Sound policy would give coal a chance, not erase challenges
It’s no secret that the region’s coal industry faces challenges from many sides.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, through a report it began releasing last month, forecast that although total U.S. coal production is expected to rise after 2016, Appalachian coal will not.
Peace Officers Memorial Day: Honoring those who keep us safe
Today, all U.S. and West Virginia state flags will be lowered to half staff in memory of the officers who died in the line of duty, making this state and this country a safer place to live, for Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Each and every day should be Mother’s Day
Anna Jarvis, from our neighboring city of Grafton, began the tradition that on the second Sunday of May, mothers and motherhood would receive a national celebration and recognition.
From those early local beginnings, Mother’s Day has evolved and become one of the most celebrated days of the year.
Teens need co-pilots to navigate social media
It’s tough to be the parent of a teen.
Heck, it’s tough to be the parent of a preteen. Ten is the new 15 these days. Fifteen is the new 21. Kids grow up so fast, and we have to fight them every step of the way to make sure they’re not growing up too fast. It’s a constant question of whether something is age-appropriate and the constant response of “all of my other friends are doing it.”
- More Opinion Headlines
- Student loan fix shouldn’t require huge political battle