December 7, 1941
Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was a defining moment for our country and propelled the United States into World War II. Millions of Americans prepared to enlist and serve for the devastation and losses suffered.
Americans enlist following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941
Time & Life Pictures / Getty Image
With twenty-one American naval vessels and over three hundred aircraft damaged or destroyed, Japanese bombardment killed 2,403 military personnel and civilians and shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Following an afternoon of monitoring the crisis, President Roosevelt would begin preparing a message for Congress. Though drafted in haste, FDR’s words galvanized the nation with his historic speech.
“December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy
With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph- so help us God.”
|Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Addresses Congress for a Declaration of War
December 8, 1941
(U.S. Government – U.S. Archives)
Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” Speech
President Roosevelt signs the Declaration of War against Japan
in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
December 8, 1941
(National Archives and Records Administration)
In Service and Sacrifice
16,100,000 Americans served during World War II
American military casualties totaled 407,316
“The very soul of a nation is its heroes”
USN Pearl Harbor Survivor, Bill Johnson (January 20, 2004)
Wall of Casualties – USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
To the memory of gallant men here entombed and their shipmates
who gave their lives in action on December 7, 1941.
(U.S. Navy Photo)
In Eternal Remembrance