BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
On Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolula, Hawaii, at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The surprise attack killed 2,403 Americans and injured 1,178 others.
Of the eight U.S. Navy battleships present, all were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war.
The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
Japan announced a declaration of war on the United States later that day (Dec. 8, in Tokyo), but the declaration was not delivered until the following day.
On Dec. 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous ‘Pearl Harbor Speech’ to Congress and they passed a formal declaration of war against Japan within one hour. Canada declared war on Japan within hours of the attack.
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States on Dec. 7, to remember and honor the U.S. citizens who were killed in attack
In 1994, the United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103–308, 108 Stat. 1169, designated Dec. 7, of each year, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
The joint resolution was signed by President Bill Clinton on Aug. 23, 1994. It became 36 U.S.C. § 129 (Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies) of the United States Code.
On Nov. 29, Clinton issued a proclamation declaring Dec. 7, 1994, the first National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died as a result of the attack on U.S. military forces in Hawaii.
Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday and government offices, schools, and businesses do not close.