The Attack on Pearl Harbor

The 7th of December marked the day that President Franklin Roosevelt described as the date which will live in infamy, the Japanese attacked the U.S naval base in Hawaii Pearl Harbor without warning. The devastating assault resulted in many American casualties that turned the citizens of America furious and that was reflected in the president’s declaration of war against Japan. The unforgettable day in 1941 in which Pearl Harbor was attacked affected the country’s participation in the second World War, and the patriotic spirit of every American.

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The merciless Japenese military attacked and bombed the great base in Hawaii known as Pearl Harbor exactly 77 years ago on the 7th of December in 1941. Pearl Harbor was America’s Gibraltar of the Pacific, the acting home port for the Pacific fleet (Parrish). The Japanese target, Pearl Harbor was thought to be an impregnable fort capable of withstanding any and all attacks that could be made against it. Pearl Harbor was made to be the stronghold of the United States, a title that intrigued many nations that were opposed to the U.S, but was only a target to the Japanese. The Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, killing thousands and wreaking havoc across the United States’ naval and air fleets (Depression). The attack was unforeseeable and America was not prepared to defend itself against the flurry of Japanese fighter planes.

Casualties were over 2,400 American deaths with more than 1,100 wounded, alongside 23 ships and other water vessels that were damaged or sunk and around 188 destroyed Japanese aircrafts. The nation was filled with hatred as the news of Pearl Harbor came, and as President Roosevlt called it a date which will live in infamy (Depression). Ever since, The United States has continued to honor the fallen warriors of this merciless attack that impacted everyone living in the country from children to elderly. Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on The States, the next day after the attack and americans shouted Remember Pearl Harbor as they fought on in World War Two, leaving the past behind and uniting together as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (Parrish).

After the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt received the Congress’ approval to join the war. America tried to maintain a stance of neutrality and only committed to supplying Allied forces, but when the Japanese bombs hit, an unwanted beast, furious and lusting for revenge was awakened. The declaration passed with only a single dissenting vote (America). Most citizens lusted for revenge and felt its necessity, and support of the nation going to war was widespread across the country. I don’t think it was American weakness that put us in World War Two; duplicity by the japanese is what put us into the Pacific War (Shirley qtd. In Morella). The United States joining the war was to express its might and power, but the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor was the only one capable of conquering Japan’s Navy (A Brief). In 1941, Japan had the military power of about 2.4 million trained soldiers and the U.S military stood at only 1.5 million fighters and only one third of them were trained. The U.S had only 1,157 planes in its air fleet and only 347 warships in its Navy while the Japanese air fleet consisted of about 7,500 planes, thus, President Franklin Roosevelt decided not to immediately retaliate against Japan. And he used the majority of his forces to fight Germany (US Goes). That decision came about for many reasons, Germany was an advanced nation, which was threatening to the U.S, and Britain, one of America’s closest allies was fighting against germany (US Goes). So it was the most sensible decision and thus, the country joined the war with a sanguine head on their shoulders. And in 1942, U.S planes stopped the japanese advance on Australia at the Battle of Coral Sea (Feldmeth). The citizens were ravenous after revenge on those who have wronged them, and any advancement was gargantuan to them. America was a huge aid to the allied forces in many successful battles against the axis powers. America put out everything in this war and it paid off. Because of the involvement in the war and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans showed the patriotism they have always been known for as they volunteered to defend their cherished country from bombings and invasions. They trained in aircraft spotting, bomb removal, first-aid and firefighting (America). And those were only a few of the many actions, citizens took in order to keep their beloved country safe throughout the war. Civilians rationed sugar so that the army could have chocolate bars, a standard K ration (America). The K ration was first supplied in World War II and at the time chocolate bars fit the needs of the military due to their portability and nutritional value. But many other citizens felt that supplying sugar so that more chocolate bars would be made for the troops was not enough so they themselves joined the service. And as more men and women were sworn into the military, more flags were raised in front of homes and businesses, more motivational and patriotic quotes and mottos appeared in newspapers and magazines. For that it was of high importance to keep the nation’s spirits up in those troubling times. The production which has flowed from the country to all the battlefronts of the world has been due to the efforts of American business, American labor, and American farmers, working together as a patriotic team (President Roosevelt qtd. In America). Patriotism needed to rise because the nation was in such an economic depression, providing Americans a reason to support their country. One man recalled this infamous day, saying, I was in Scouts, and much of our scout-time was spent on war projectsbuilding things, planting gardens, collecting scrap iron, studying first-aid, identifying Jap and Kraut airplanes and ships (Norris). Including children who had to mature quickly to help their fellow citizens who were being shipped off to war. Patriotism united Americans together in a bond like no other across the entire country, and that’s how america left a lasting impact on the world.

The date which will live in infamy is December 7th, 1941 commemrated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the Japanese unleashed a merciless attack against Pearl Harbor. This unforgettable day was when citizens came united and patriotism exploded, it was during the war that the country wanted to avoid but turned ravenous for retribution after the Japanese attack, and it will be remembered as the date which will live in infamy for eons to come.

Works Cited

“America Goes to War.” The National WWII Museum. National WWII Museum, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .

“A Brief History of the U.S. Army on World War Two.” U.S. Army Center of Military History. United States Army, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .

“Depression and WWII.” America’s Story from America’s Library. Lib. of Cong., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. .

Feldmeth, Greg D. “American Involvement in World War II.” U.S. History Resources. N.p., 31 Mar. 1998. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. .

Norris, Don. “After Pearl, Patriotism Flourished.” Remembering World War II: n. pag. The Melrose Mirror. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. .

Parrish, Ann. “Pearl Harbor.” Our States: Geographic Treasures(2011): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

“US Goes to War After Pearl Harbor, but Japan Is Not the First Target.” Learning English. VOA, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .

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The Attack on Pearl Harbor. (2019, Jun 26). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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