December 7th, 2007
Dear Friends, Today is a rough day for many Americans and Firefighters, even if you didn't realize it. While some others might barely remember why, we remember. If you were around on Dec. 7, 1941, you will definitely never forget what the date means and how it impacted our nation. Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Remembering the attack at Pearl Harbor is directly remembered by fewer each year...as the "greatest generation" continues to pass on. The attack on Pearl Harbor left a toll of 2,388 dead and 1,178 wounded...including Firefighters (read on)....and pushed the United States into World War II.
The next day, the following speech was given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
December 8th, 1941......
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, 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 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 to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State 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.
Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Atoll.
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.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
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.
It's 2007 and we are at war now as well. In WWII, it wasn't just the soldiers who went to war-EVERYONE got involved and made a difference to protect our Country-and defeat the enemies. Today we need to remember those who served, those who were lost and those who survived the attacks in 1941. We must keep their memory alive as a reminder that they paid the highest price for OUR freedom. We also must remember the young women and men who are serving overseas-today-right now as you read this stuff, they are serving you and I.
During the Pearl Harbor attack. 3 Engine Companies of the Honolulu (Hawaii) Fire Department, (Engines 1, 4, and 6) were dispatched to fight the fires caused by enemy attack. HFD Fire Captain John Carreira, Captain Thomas Macy and Hoseman Harry Pang all gave their lives in the Line of Duty. Six other Firefighters were wounded while fighting fires at Hickam Field: Fire Lt. Frederick Kealoha, Hosemen Moses Kililikani, John A. Gilman, Solomon Naauao, Patrick McCabe and George Correa. All of these Firefighters were awarded Purple Hearts and became the only civilian Firefighters in the U.S. to do so.
Freedom includes the right to feel what you wish regarding our current military deployment. But either way and no matter what, we must very aggressively and proactively protect our freedom from attacks by the known and unknown enemies. The enemies who plan and would love to take it away from us... and would do so in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, those who hate what we have, what we stand for, what we believe in and how we live as Americans, offer us no options.
Need a reminder? Go here...quickly:
The following are some excellent links with video related to remembering December 7, 1941.