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Wrecked planes of Ford Island Naval Air Station in the foreground as the USS Shaw explodes

4 naval battleships … sank
188 aircraft … destroyed
1282 Americans … wounded
2404 Americans … killed
1 America … united at last

This was December 7, 1941 — the day which will live in infamy. The war in Europe had been blazing for two years already. Americans were hesitant to join the war effort. Roosevelt kept his collaborations with Churchill a relative secret. People did not want to go to war. People did not want to deal with a fight that was simply someone else’s.

Then came December 7.

Isolationism vanished in a heartbeat, vanished at the sound of a radio message which will never be forgotten. It was the beginning of a unity and tenacity of which the country perhaps will never see again.

It was a unity that ran unbroken for four difficult years. It was a fierceness of resolve that blazed strong through the many failures, sorrows, and triumphs of the future. It started in destruction, it was borne from the ashes, the shock, and the horror of December 7, 1941.

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” –Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

May we never forget.

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