Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, is the annual remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. This attack led to the United States joining World War II.

Pearl Harbor is located in Hawaii on the island of O’ahu. Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean between California and Japan. During the time of World War II, Hawaii was not a state, but a US territory.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, at 7:55 a.m., the Japanese Imperial Army attacked the American Army and Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise attack from the Japanese resulted in more than 2,000 deaths and 1,000 injured American servicemen and civilians.

Nearly 200 American aircraft and numerous battleships stationed in the Pacific were also destroyed.

World War II had been raging in Europe and Asia for two years, but the United States had not entered the war despite the horrors of genocide being inflicted on the Jewish people and others in Europe. The Empire of Japan was trying to take over much of Asia and was worried about the US Navy in Hawaii. So Japan decided to attack Pearl Harbor and the Navy ships in order to prevent the United States from attacking them.

The Japanese thought that if they took out the war ships in Pearl Harbor, then the United States Navy would be crippled and would never attack. However, they were wrong, and US President Franklin Roosevelt declared war against Japan the next day. This entered the U.S. into World War II. In his speech to Congress, President Roosevelt stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy.” Three days later Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States. The United States was now a major part of World War II.

The citizens of the United States were in shock. They had tried to avoid the war, but they could not ignore this attack. The Japanese had hoped to break the Americans by attacking Pearl Harbor, instead they united them.

The Second World War, or WWII, was the deadliest war in history. It involved more than 30 countries that were either members of the Allied or Axis Powers. WWII started when Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland in 1939.

In the nearly four years that followed, the U.S. Navy sank all of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers that participated in the Pearl Harbor attack.

The chief members of the Allied Powers included Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the United States, and China while the Axis Powers coalition was led by Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Shortly after, Germany declared war against the United States. American soldiers were guided by the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” through to the end of the war in 1945.

Today visitors can tour the Pearl Harbor National Monument, built on the water above the wreckage of the U.S.S. Arizona, one of the eight battleships attacked and damaged during the fight. From there you can still glimpse at the remains of the sunken ship 40 feet below the water, a memorial to the brave people who fought in this important battle.

 

 

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