National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
|National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day|
|Next time||7 December 2015|
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually in the United States on December 7, is to remember and honor the 2,403 victims who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103–308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day. It is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset in honor of dead patriots.
The attack on Pearl Harbor
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Honululu, Hawaii, without warning and without a declaration of war, killing 2,403 American non-combatants, and injuring 1,178 others. The attack sank two U.S. Navy battleships and damaged five others. It also damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer. Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged.
Within hours of the attack Canada declared war on Japan, the first Western nation to do so. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II on the side of the Allies. In a speech to Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor "a date which will live in infamy."
As it is not a federal holiday, government offices, schools, and businesses do not close. Some organizations may hold special events in memory of those killed or injured at Pearl Harbor.
Memorials have been built to remember the day and its events. The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. Another memorial is that of the USS Utah, a battleship that was sunk in the attack. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship's wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
In 1990, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's medal and was awarded to anyone who was in the U.S. Armed Forces and who was present in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and participated in combat operations that day against the attack. The medal was also awarded to civilians who were killed or injured in the attack. A few years later, Congress amended the law to allow any person who was present in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and was involved in combat operations against Japanese military forces attacking Hawaii to receive the award. In both instances, there was a limited time period to apply for the award, and it is no longer issued.
- "Parliament, The National Defence Act, and the Decisions to Participate". Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- 104 Stat. 1721, 110 Stat. 2654