09 December 2008

DECEMBER 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor - video powered by Metacafe

Speech to the U.S. Congress on December 8th, 1941 (as delivered)

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 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 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. 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.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

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 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

I wasn't able to do this post on time, but I absolutely couldn't let it go by. Sadly now, it's a day that goes by largely unnoticed and I believe that most people couldn't explain the significance of December 7, 1941. But, we must never forget. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Our servicemen began returning fire much more rapidly than would be considered humanly possible. There were far too many equally superhuman efforts to list here. Suffice it to say that the courage and bravery displayed that day is undescribable. Despite their valiant efforts, though, the attack which began at 7:53 a. m. was over by 9:55 a. m. and much of the Pacific fleet was destroyed and many, many killed defending our country.

We must not let our children and grandchildren forget. All future generations must not forget the price paid for our freedom.


Thank a veteran for your freedom, today.



C-ingspots said...

Thank you for remembering and for putting this on your post. We all need a few reminders now and then.
Merry Christmas

MISSY said...

A lovely tribute and a sad day in history. *M*

MISSY said...

I don't know if my last comment took. Just wanted to say that was a lovely tribute! *M*


I'm so happy you did this! I sent e-mails to close friends and family about 'this day' because I don't have a blog that focuses on key issues like yours does.

My dad served in WWII; I was born while he was gone, and he returned home in 1945 when I was just a little over 3 years old.

I remember seeing my dad's picture in his uniform in mom's bedroom; a glass covered the picture in the frame.

I clearly remember asking her to take off the glass to 'let daddy out', so he could come home.

Mom argued with me and then one day she laid the frame down on the yellow bed spread in their bedroom and told me to take off the glass. I took it off from the back - sliding up the frame and the glass and dad's picture 'laid there' on the bed.

Daddy didn't come home and that's when I remember crying very hard.

During the war we traveled from Michigan to Fort Hood in Texas - by train, and stayed with some friends of the family when dad was injured in the war, and came home for about 4 months until he recovered and was sent back.

December 7th was noted in our house from the time I can remember, and I do appreciate you giving recognition to this 'date and time' which has played a major part in millions of people lives - those who were adults when it happened; those who were tiny children, and babes in the crib....

It's a wonderful post, and the video I have as part of my collection on You Tube - powerful .....

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

May they rest in peace.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

May they rest in peace.

natalie said...

thanks so much Dirk!
great job!

RIVER Organization said...

Cliff (River)