December 7, 1941 – 77 Years Later

Pearl HarborFrom the Library of Congress:

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. The attack sank three other ships and damaged many additional vessels. More than 180 aircraft were destroyed.

A hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Commander in Chief Pacific, to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.

From the American Folklore Center

Broadcaster, Buffalo, New York, December, 1941: “Mr. Sullivan. What do you think about the American people? Do you think we’re ready for this?”
Sullivan: “Well…”
Broadcaster: “Your honest opinion.”
Sullivan: “We’ve never been ready for anything. But we’ve always been able to meet it.”
Broadcaster: “Do you think we’ll meet this?”
Sullivan: “I do.”


From 2007:
Five survivors keep history alive at Pearl Harbor

PEARL HARBOR – They are the ironmen of their generation, living through Dec. 7, 1941, and the World War that followed, and defying the pitfalls of age and health into their 80s and 90s.
The five Pearl Harbor survivors who regularly volunteer at the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center here, talking and joking with tourists and signing autographs, may have lost a step or two, but not their wit.

The oldest survivor from Pearl Harbor just recently passed away.

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