Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a date that will live in infamy." Early on a Sunday morning in beautiful Hawaii, hundreds of Japanese planes from six aircraft carriers flew in low over the lush green mountains. The red circles gleamed in the sun on thier sides and wings. The planes split; dive bombers climbing high, torpedo bombers going in low and the fighters in the middle looking for American resistance. There would be none and it quickly became obvious the attackers had achieved total surprise. The code words Tora, Tora, Tora crackled back to the ships the planes had come from.
Within minutes the United States Pacific Fleet was in ruins. Thousands of Americans would be dead and America would be drawn into the war which had engulfed Europe for years.
The Japanese were cautious; perhaps too much so. They retreated from thier attack leaving the US Pacific Fleet's oil tank farms intact. They retreated north back to Japan instead of taking a southern route home thus missing thier primary target, the American aircraft carriers. The United States aircraft carrier fleet was safe. In fact the carrier Enterprise entered Pearl Harbor just hours after the attack, refueled and left to search for the Japanese fleet.
In the meantime the battleships of the Pacific fleet were burning, men were dying. The great battleships California, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona were sitting in the mud of Pearl Harbor. Maryland, Nevada and Pensylvania were damaged. All except Arizona and Oklahoma would return to the fleet and would play crucial parts in the struggle.
America would rise to the occasion. In fact the Admiral of the Japanese Navy Yamamoto would later be qouted as saying " I am afraid all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant."
I hope that giant still rests in us...
God bless America.