Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 70 years ago today

President Franklin D. Roosevelt told Congress, it was a “day that will live in infamy.”  After sending two sorties of carrier-based fighter-bombers to wreck havoc on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor naval base, sinking or severely damaging 18 U.S. ships, destroying 170 aircraft and inflicting 3,700 casualties, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.”

Pearl Harbor unfortunately ranks with the September 11 terrorist attacks as among the few actual modern era attacks on U.S. territory by a foreign belligerent.  The Japanese attack nearly crippled, for a short time, the ability of the United States to defend itself, let alone project power, into the Pacific.  But four years later American resolve completely reversed the situation.  We received Japan’s “unconditional surrender,” and today Japan is one of our nation’s largest trading partners and allies.

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