Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

The Licking News, Dec. 11, 1941

By Christy Porter,
Managing Editor
Editor’s Note: In 1941 news was not reported as quickly as it is today. The main sources of communication were wire and radio technology, the Teletype, and radar technology which was making advancements. There was no Internet, worldwide web or ‘smart’ phones. So while we receive world news today as it’s happening, that was not so until the 1980’s and much more so in the 1990’s. Many, especially in the rural areas would not receive the world news for days, or sometimes weeks.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, at 7:55 a.m., the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The entire attack lasted less than two hours and caused immense devastation.
   In 1941 Pearl Harbor was and still is now an active U.S. Naval Military Base and Headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It is also now a National Historical Landmark. Pearl Harbor lies in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 3,000 miles from the west coast of the continental United States and 4,000 miles from Japan.
  While WWII began in Sept. 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, causing the U.K. and France to declare war on Germany two days later, the U.S. had not yet entered the war. After the bombing on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared a state of war on Japan, Mon. Dec. 8th. On Dec. 11th, Axis powers Germany and Italy allied with Japan and declared war on the U.S. The United States joined the Allies: Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union and China in the Second World War.
  While largely focused in Asia, Europe, North Africa, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea, more than 50 countries and all continents except Antarctica would to some extent be involved in this great international conflict.
  According to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Japan struck with a force of 353 aircraft launched from four heavy carriers, two heavy cruisers, 35 submarines, two light cruisers, nine oilers, two battleships and 11 destroyers.
  A valiant effort by the U.S. personnel resulted in the loss of 29 Japanese aircraft and five midget submarines, one Japanese soldier taken prisoner and 129 Japanese soldiers killed.
  The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and wounded 1,178. Nineteen U.S. Navy ships were destroyed or damaged, including 8 battleships. Three hundred twenty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed or damaged. Fortunately the three aircraft carriers of the fleet were out to sea during the attack, also according to The National WWII Museum.
  While not universally agreed upon, it is generally accepted that WWII ended Aug. 14th, 1945. The formal surrender of Japan aboard the USS Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan, Sept. 2nd, 1945 would officially end the war in Asia.
  The Battleship USS Arizona remains sunken in Pearl Harbor and is the resting place of the sailors and Marines killed on board in 1941 along with its survivors who’ve chosen to be interred there. The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962, on top of, but not touching the sunken USS Arizona.
   In honor and memoriam of the Battle of Pearl Harbor, the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument encompasses the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial. The Battleship USS Missouri was not present at Pearl Harbor in 1941, but was later moved to the site.



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