December 7 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It marks the day in 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched an attack on the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On that day, 353 Japanese aircraft launched air assaults that resulted in eight U.S. Navy battleships being damaged or sunk.
Japan’s intent was to destroy American fleets in order to keep the United States from interfering in its planned attacks on targets in southeast Asia belonging to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. The U.S. responded by declaring war on Japan and entering World War II for the first time.
As we pause to remember Pearl Harbor and the veterans who proudly served in World War II, here is some information about the “day that will live in infamy.”
The Facts about Pearl Harbor
- Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. Because there was no warning or declaration of war preceding it, the attack was determined to be a war crime during the Tokyo Trials.
- The human toll was significant: 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 more were wounded. For the Japanese, the loss was less: 64 Japanese soldiers were killed and one was captured.
- Days after the United States declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
- While the attack lasted fewer than two hours, every battleship in Pearl Harbor—USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS California, USS West Virginia, USS Utah, USS Maryland, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee, and USS Nevada—sustained significant damage. However, every ship except the USS Arizona and USS Utah were eventually restored.
- In a joint session of Congress on December 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
Pearl Harbor Memorial
The WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, a National Park Service site, was built in 1962. The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the sites that make up the monument. It is the resting place for 1,102 sailors who lost their lives that day. The 184-foot-long memorial represents the strength and resilience of the American people.
On September 2, 1945 in the Tokyo Bay, the Japanese formally surrendered to the United States on the deck of the USS Missouri. It marked the end of World War II. In 1999, the USS Missouri was moved to Pearl Harbor and placed perpendicular to the USS Arizona Memorial.
The site is open to visitors seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. While admission is free, a ticket is required.
Veterans at Sunrise Communities
From residents to team members, Sunrise communities are filled with veterans who heroically served their country. Click here to read just a few of their stories.
To help ensure that veterans receive the financial support they need for senior care expenses, Congress created the Aid and Attendance benefit. You can visit “Understanding the Aid & Attendance Benefit for Veterans” to learn more about eligibility and awards. Married veterans are currently entitled to up to $2,127 per month in assistance if they qualify. Call the Sunrise community nearest you with any questions about the Aid & Attendance benefit and other options for financing senior living.