Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 7, 2013

Today is anniversary of Pearl Harbor bombing

Hendricks County Flyer

---- — Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing that saw 2,402 American soldiers killed and another 1,282 wounded.

It was an event that sent shock waves through a nation and changed the trajectory of World War II.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.

The attack at Pearl Harbor so outraged Americans that the U.S. abandoned its policy of isolationism and declared war on Japan the following day — officially bringing the United States into World War II.

The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions Japan was planning in Southwast Asia against the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the U.S.

There were simultaneous Japanese attacks on the Phillipines, Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Pearl Harbor base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes that struck in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.

The following day — Dec. 8 — the U.S. officially declared war on Japan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Dec. 7, 1941, as “a date which will live in infamy.”

In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Gov. Mike Pence is directing flags at state facilities statewide be flown at half-staff today.

Flags should remain at half-staff until sunset.

Pence also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff to pay tribute to the men and women who were injured or lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941.