Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This day in 1941

was a date that will live in infamy.

Here's an excerpt from FDR's speech:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 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 the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Always will we 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 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 very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

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.

There's some wisdom in that speech for us today as well.

The US military suffered 2,400 killed that day. Nearly half of those perished on the USS Arizona. I visited the Arizona Memorial some years ago. It's a place of somber serenity. [sounds contradictory but it isn't] Of the nearly 1,200 killed there were 23 sets of brothers who perished. What also left an impression was the sailors who survived who later chose to have their remains interred with their fallen brethren on the Arizona.

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