FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Though 81 years have passed, we remember and honor those who lost their lives and their loved ones at Pearl Harbor; we commit to celebrating their lives and their service on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
On Dec. 7, 1941, America was surprised in a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, resulting in 2,403 military and civilian deaths, 1,178 injuries, and the destruction of multiple U.S aircraft and naval ships. Addressing the nation on Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as “a day that will live in infamy” as he requested Congress declare war on Japan.
Although our forces were surprised, they demonstrated valor and resolve, with 15 courageous individuals receiving the Medal of Honor for their actions that day, along with hundreds of others earning awards of distinction. In the days and years that followed, our nation saw incredible grit and determination by those known as the Greatest Generation — those who served and sacrificed at home and abroad in World War II.
This year’s commemoration theme is “Everlasting Legacy” in honor of the Greatest Generation, which includes the Americans injured and killed and affected at Pearl Harbor, whose service led our nation through World War II. As former Secretary of the Navy, Honorable Ray Mabus said, “We rightly honor every one of our veterans, but there will always be a special place in our hearts for those who began the fight at Pearl Harbor that led us to victory.” Today, let us commit that we will never forget their service, their sacrifice and their inspiring leadership.
We are proud to serve with each of you.
Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!