Why Pearl Harbor Day Still Shocks 70 Years Later

US Navy sailors honor Pearl Harbor DayUS Navy sailors honor Pearl Harbor DayPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt called it a day that will live on in infamy, and it has. At the time of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was the worst attack on US soil by a foreign entity. Although it was surpassed in casualties by September 11, 2001, it behooves us as a nation to remember the incidents on an early Sunday morning 70 years ago are part of the fabric of a nation.

Nothing drives home just what a sacrifice it was for the brave folks who fought for our country like a look at Pearl Harbor Day by the numbers:


1: Day it took for FDR to present his declaration of war to the US Congress, officially involving the United States in World War II.

7: Battleships moored on the famous "Battleship Row" -- home to the USS Arizona. Other ships were in the vicinity, but this is the section that sustained the heaviest casualties.

68: Civilians who lost their lives in what was an act of war by a foreign nation.

70: Years that have passed since the attack.

265: Survivors who have opted in recent years to have their remains returned to Hawaii so they can rest eternally with the brave men lost on that fateful day.

323: Aircraft destroyed during the attack.

1,177: Sailors on the USS Arizona who died when the ship was torpedoed. That is out of a 1,400-member crew.

1,178: Americans wounded during the blitz attack.

2,008: Navy sailors killed, the biggest amount of casualties sustained by any of the three branches of the military present (members of both the US Army and Marines sacrificed their lives that day as well).

2,403: Lives lost (including civilians).

2,700: Pearl Harbor survivors still alive today, although the numbers continue to dwindle. Some still get together to reminisce and honor the fallen, but with most survivors now in their 80s or even 90s, it has become increasingly difficult for them to travel. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, long the tie that has bound these folks together, is set to dissolve later this month.

120,000: Japanese living in America who were "relocated" by the US government into internment camps. That included 80,000 American citizens.

We may be losing our survivors, and decades may have passed us by, but with numbers like these, it's hard to deny the powerful impact of that one day on every life in America. It's a day that should live on in infamy, lest we ever forget the amazing sacrifices made that day and after. 

What are you doing to mark the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day?

Image via Official US Navy Imagery/Flickr

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