USS Arizona under attack
USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the underwater tomb for 1,177 Sailors and Marines
The events at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941, heavily influenced the Boomer generation as we grew up. Fear of the "Bomb," distrust of foreigners, primarily communists, but also of all Asian peoples, and a resolve to never be caught off guard again. Pearl Harbor, and the surprise attack, are what we recognize as the "moment" when America woke up.
The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the Congress for a Declaration of War in his famous "Day of Infamy" speech. This is a link to that speech and a photo of the Congress in session that day.
The Pearl Harbor survivors have an organization that will soon cease to exist. There can be no new memberships. The remaining members are in their 80's and 90's. This year, 2010, marks the 69th anniversary of the attack. The members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, as they are known, traveled to Hawaii to commemorate the event. The organization was formed in 1958 and topped out at 18,000 members. Today, there are about 3,000 remaining. Membership was limited to service members who were on Oahu on the morning of Dec 7, 1941.
We respect, honor, and admire these survivors on the anniversary of the most horrific day in each of their lives.