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Remembering Pearl Harbor 76 Years Later

Thursday, December 7, 2017 11:18
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Seventy-Six Years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy. Four years later, the bulk of the Japanese Imperial Navy was on the bottom of the ocean and Japan lay in ruins.

May we never forget the men and women who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and may we never forget to honor those who answered the call to go to war in the aftermath. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid, we can only be grateful for their sacrifice and remember them for as long as our civilization lasts.

I have embedded some audio from that day to give you a flavor of how the news broke back then. Americans began hearing about the attacks around 1:30 pm Eastern Time. There are also some films made after the attack to show you how America responded.

The next video is a short newsreel, produced for the home market with no narration, shows the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Footage shows the wrecked seaplane base on Ford Island, the destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373) wrecked in its drydock, the battleship USS Utah (BB-13) capsized, and the mighty USS Arizona (BB-39) a twisted mass of smoldering metal.

Here is the John Ford classic “December 7th” produced for the US Navy. “December 7th,” directed by John Ford, begins with the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nicknamed “the Navy’s hundred million dollar fist.” Authentic footage of the invasion is mixed with reenactments to provide a complete portrait of the events of that fateful day. An extended sequence pays tribute to the American soldiers killed in the attack, many of whom are individually profiled, complete with testimonials offered by surviving family members. American bravery is not only embodied by the fallen, it is proven by the resolve that comes in response to the attack. The film culminates in a profile of the Navy’s recovery of one sunken vessel, in particular, employing the effort as a metaphor for the American cause, “a symbol of the fighting spirit of our men who build and man our ships.” Much like this successful refitting, the film suggests that American forces will rise from destruction, stronger than they were before.

And here is the first episode in the “Why We Fight” series called “Prelude to War” that gives a wider perspective on what was going on in the world at the time.


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