Today marks the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On a quiet Sunday morning, the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii was devastated by a surprise blitz of Japanese warplanes. When it was over, more than 23-hundred Americans were dead, another eleven-hundred were wounded and five battleships including the USS Arizona were sunk or severely damaged. More than 180 aircraft were also destroyed. The attack dealt a crippling blow to the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States into World War Two.
It stood as the deadliest attack on America until the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
One day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and declared December 7th as "a day which will live in infamy." Both the House and Senate quickly approved a resolution declaring war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. responded in kind.
The nation then began a rapid transition into a war time economy, building up arms for military campaigns to come in the Pacific, Europe and North Africa. Some of the few remaining survivors and their families will gather in Honolulu and elsewhere across the country as America commemorates the attack on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
A moment of silence is marked at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, which is when the morning calm was shattered by the first wave of bombs and torpedoes.
Along with speeches and wreath-laying ceremonies, American flags are flown at half-staff to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.