FORT DERUSSY, HAWAII -- "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people will, through their righteous might, win through to absolute victory." -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
With these now-famous words, Roosevelt ensured victory to the American people and motivated Soldiers to find the strength to overcome adversity after the attack on Oahu Dec. 7, 1941.On Monday, the 74th anniversary of that deadly and deliberate attack, the 25th Infantry Division hosted The Army's Actions on December 7th, 1941 Commemoration as veterans were honored for their courage and sacrifice during the attack.The guest speaker was 25th ID Commanding General Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn."This is a day and a time for a simple ceremony to commemorate the bravery, the sacrifices and the courage of our Army and our Army Air Corps veterans and heroes," Flynn said.The ceremony, referred to as a "Flying V" due to its unique formation with the colors as a dignified reminder of U.S. Army history."This also represents to the public our special duty in the military to protect the nation in times of both crisis and war," Flynn said. "And to honor our fallen and living for the sacrifices they make in the name of freedom," Flynn said.To help commemorate the event, World War II veterans and senior leaders paid their respects by laying a wreath to honor the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice during the attack.During the ceremony Flynn mentions heroic actions of numerous service members who made a difference during the attack."Men like Army pilot Capt. Phil Rasmussen, who leapt from his barracks rooms, jumped in a p-36 fighter aircraft still wearing what he'd worn to bed, in order to rally his comrades and begin to fight back against the attacking Japanese forces," said Flynn.He also sited Tech Sgt. Jack Spangler, who rested a 50-caliber machine gun on a balcony and began returning fire to the attacking planes. In addition, he sited the actions of surgical hero 1st Lt. Robert Hardaway who performed more than 48 hours of surgery before taking a break."While the attacks on that day exacted a terrible toll on the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who faced the onslaught of Japanese fighters and bombers, it was the beginning of a period that showed the tremendous resiliency and pride of the Army in the Pacific and the nation as a whole" Flynn said.