“December 7, 1941 – a date that will live in infamy,” then-US President Franklin Roosevelt described the Japanese attack on the American naval base Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii.
Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of a sudden attack on the US Pacific Fleet that killed more than 2,400 service members and civilians, injured nearly 1,000 and destroyed nearly 20 ships and more than 100 aircraft in less than two hours .
The next day, Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, and lawmakers approved the move.
Exactly three days later, Germany and Italy, Japan’s allies, declared war on America. America entered World War II, which had been going on for more than two years in Europe.
“I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave warriors on that day and remember their sacrifices,” US President Joe Biden said in his announcement of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day earlier this month. “I ask all of us to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unimaginable day.”
The 80th National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemoration begins shortly before 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday at Pearl Harbor National Monument in Hawaii, the same time that the 1941 attack began.
About 40 Pearl Harbor survivors are expected to be among the approximately 150 World War II survivors scheduled to attend the event, which will be livestreamed.