Dec. 7, 1941, will forever be remembered as “a date which will live in infamy.” Those were the words used by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt to describe the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces that killed 2,400 Americans, prompting the commander in chief to declare war and launch the country into World War II.
Seventy-four years later, the bombing of the military base in Hawaii was commemorated at Pearl Harbor by a joint service held by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy on Monday. This year’s theme is “Pathway to Reconciliation: From Engagement to Peace” and focuses on the normalization and subsequent friendship between the U.S. and Japan. The 75th anniversary next year is expected to draw as many as 6,000 visitors, according to the
Roosevelt first learned of the attack on the afternoon of Dec. 7 from his Secretary of War Henry Stimson. He quickly drafted a resolution requesting Congress to grant a declaration of war. Roosevelt’s remarks, which were delivered before a joint session of Congress and broadcast on the radio the following day, resulted in unanimous approval from the Senate and only one representative who dissented on pacifist grounds in the House.