Seventy years ago today, on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 Americas naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the forces of the Empire of Japan. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 were wounded. The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four more. It also damaged or sank three cruisers, three destroyers, one minelayer and damaged 188 aircraft.
The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt, in a speech to congress, stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is “a date which will live in infamy.”
Memorials have been built to remember the day and its events. The USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. Another memorial is that of the USS Utah, a battleship that was attacked and sunk in the attack. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ships wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989. In 1991, which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivors medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.