Today, December 7th 2011 marks the 70th year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On this day in 1941, naval and air forces of Japan launched a surprise attack on US Armed Forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

December 7th 1941, a Sunday morning, the people of the island of Oahu were just starting to wake up. They were just expecting a typical Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation. The US Military Installations were just starting to get their daily routines started. At 0755 Hrs, Cmdr. Logan Ramsey saw a low flying plane at the Command Center in Ford Island. After a while he realizes that it was not a US Military plane when it dropped a bomb. He alerted the ships and bases at Pearl Harbor that they were under attack. Flashback to a few hours earlier, at 0342 Hrs, the minesweeper Condor, signaled the destroyer Ward, that they have sighted a submerged submarine heading to Pearl Harbor. At 0610 Hrs, the Japanese Strike Force was already airborne. At 0645 Hrs, the destroyer Ward sinks the submarine and signals the Pearl Harbor Naval Station of the sinking. The high command, wanting to make sure that the information was valid waited for a verification report. At 0702, the US Army radar Station at Opana detected a large haze. When they looked closer it looked like a large flight of 50 or more airplanes. When they reported to their superiors, their superior disregarded the information because he was expecting a flight of B-17’s from the mainland. At 0749, the Japanese Strike Force entered Pearl Harbor. At 0810 Hrs, a bomb penetrated the deck of the battleship USS Arizona and exploded in its forward magazine setting off the ammunitions it carried. At 0817 Hrs, the destroyer USS Helm, attacked a small submarine and captured the first POW of the United States in World War 2. At 0839, the destroyer USS Monaghan sank another submarine while she was on her way out of the Harbor. At 1000 Hrs, the Japanese Strike Force stopped the sending of a third wave due to the reason that the US Navy Aircraft Carriers are not in the Harbor, and that they no longer have the element of surprise. At 1030 Hrs, the dead and the wounded started to pour out of Pearl Harbor. The nurses and the doctors struggled to accommodate them all. At 1300 Hrs, the Japanese Strike Force headed back for home. The following day, President Roosevelt declared war on Japan (For a copy of the speech click here). Three days later, the Axis Powers declared war on the United States.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the biggest blow given by Japan to the United States, the Japanese Forces always stood on tiptoe, expecting retaliation. The Japanese did accomplish something; they accomplished to wake a sleeping giant. The date December 7, 1941, marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War. The USS Missouri was built to “avenge Pearl Harbor”. US Marines started the offensive on islands occupied by the Japanese. Midway, Marshall Islands, Tarawa, Makin Atoll, Guadalcanal, The Philippines, Guam, Iwo Jima and other Japanese occupied places were taken. Every ship that participated on the attack on Pearl Harbor was destroyed by the US Navy. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Japanese surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri.

Today we honor those who fought and died in the name of peace in this region of the world. We honor those who died defending Pearl Harbor, those who died in the offensive in the Pacific, those who died to protect freedom and peace. We salute the veterans who risked their lives for a better future. Please offer a little prayer to those who died on this day in 1941, to the sailors trapped in the Arizona, and to those who at this very moment are on board ships, helicopters and planes protecting the peace in the world.