The Heroes of Pearl Harbor Day

Today we are not saluting an individual, but a group of service members. This last Saturday was December 7th, and on December 7th, 1941, 77 years ago, American Troops stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were enjoying a typical sunny Sunday morning.  America was not yet involved in the bloody war raging elsewhere in the world so on that sunny Sunday morning the base at Pearl Harbor was relatively quiet: duty stations were just about to change hands for the day and off-duty troops and sailors were probably enjoying coffee, or preparing for church or a day of leisure. At 7:48am All Hell broke loose when 353 Japanese fighter aircraft shattered the calm morning with a surprise attack. At the end of the furious attack which lasted only around 2 hours, 2,403 Americans lay dead, and 1,178 more were wounded.  Many critical installations were damaged or destroyed as well as 8 battle ships, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, a minelayer, and 188 aircraft were destroyed. This salute isn’t about the attack, or about our response and the United States’ entry into the War immediately afterward. This salute is about the soldiers, sailors, Marines and the support personnel who were killed or injured that day. Service to this nation includes an accepted risk, sacrifice, and honor. Over 3,500 Americans made an incredible sacrifice on that day, and we owe each and every one of them our respect and our thanks. We live in the land of the free, because of the brave.