Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Perhaps it is because I have been privileged to travel to Hawaii three times & visit Pearl Harbor twice, I cannot forget that December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day.

If you ever travel to Hawaii, I urge you to visit Pearl Harbor. I think I should warn you though. You won't have fun. You might not even feel compelled to take any pictures. You probably will be compelled to shed a tear or two. It's not something you would add to your vacation itinerary for the fun of it, but it is something you should make time to do.

Just like anything momentous in history, taking time to learn about it will make you a better citizen.

I suppose that's just my humble opinion.

In honor of the fact that today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I have searched the internet & found this page that has a compilation of Pearl Harbor Attack Facts.

Here are some highlights, facts I found particularly interesting:

1. The attack took place on December 7, 1941.
2. Although the aerial attack was very successful, the submarines failed to finish off any wounded ship inside the harbour.
3. The attack's success surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans.
4. The last part of the decoded Japanese message stated that U.S. relations were to be severed.
5. The Japanese force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes.
6. At 6 a.m. the first Japanese attack wave of 83 planes took off. The air raid lasted until about 9:45 a.m. The entire attack & all of its resulting devastation took less than four hours.
7. Eighteen U.S. ships were hit.
8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy," in reference to the attack.
9. Casualties included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians.
10. 1178 people were wounded.
11. The day after the attack the U.S. and Britain declared war on Japan.
12. The harbour is on the southern coast of Oahu.
13. All of the planes on the Japanese ships were fully fueled and armed.
14. The attack brought the United States into World War II.
15. The Japanese were interested in the Hawaiian islands since the islands were annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
16. Japanese suffered just small losses.
17. The attack crippled the United States fleet.
18. Because of the unpreparedness of the U.S. military, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short were relieved of duty.
19. The attack severely crippled the U.S. naval and air strength in the Pacific.
20. Of the eight battleships, all but the Arizona and Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service.
21. Once the fleet was out of action, Japan would be able to conquest a great area.
22. A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.
23. More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
24. During the attack the USS Arizona sank with a loss of more than 1,100 men.
25. A white concrete and steel structure now spans the hull of the sunken ship as a memorial.
26. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962.
27. U.S. officials had been aware that an attack by Japan was probable, but did not know the time or place it would occur.
28. Pearl Harbor was not in the state of high alert when the attack started, Anti-Aircraft guns were left unmanned.
29. The main targets for the first wave was the airfield and battleships.
30. The second wave targets were other ships and shipyard facilities.

Events in history like the Attack on Pearl Harbor remind me of how grateful I should be that I know the Lord is in control & that all of the political maneuverings of man cannot thwart His purpose for this world.

1 comment:

Adele said...

We visited there too and I'm really glad we did. It is really sobering to see it first hand. Always remember....