The Jury Talks Back

12/7/2008

Remembering

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 4:18 am

Sixty-seven years ago tomorrow, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the following speech before a joint session of Congress.

 

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor [Hirohito] looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador  to the United States and his colleague  delivered to our Secretary of State  a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Today, on the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, remember the act that brought us into World War II, the war that would see a country with a small standing army and establish it as a world power.

Remember too, the determination that took this nation from an economy in the midst of a depression and made it into a manufacturing powerhouse, establishing us as an economic power.

And remember the men (and women) of all the allies, who fought and died so that the Pacific and Europe would not be controlled by power-mad tyrants.  Each year we lose more and more of those we rightly call the Greatest Generation to the ravages of time.  They endured so that their children would remain safe and free.

4 Comments

  1. I learned something from that post.

    Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

    Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

    Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

    Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

    Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

    And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

    I knew the Japanese attacked a lot of places around the Pacific, but I had no idea they attacked so many places at once. That must have been one heckuva big navy they had.

    Comment by backwoods conservative — 12/7/2008 @ 5:12 am

  2. It was.

    Though by the time we were done with it, it was a good bit smaller. I like to think of it as a relocation service, really. We helped them move the vast bulk of their surface fleet and aircraft to the bottom of the ocean. :)

    However, remember that at least Guam, Hong Kong, and the Philippines were mostly withing range of land-based fighters, as Japan had invaded most of Asia before they decided to kick up in the shin like a grade-shool bully who thinks kicking the highschool freshman is a good idea.

    We did, after all, have “Not-US-Military Pilots” flighing missions over China. to help them defend themselves from a rampaging, nearly unstoppable Japan.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 12/7/2008 @ 5:22 am

  3. I appreciate this being posted, Scott. Isn’t it ironic that those who were once our enemies become our allies? Strange how that works… NRO has a nice counterpart to your post from 80 soldiers who survived the attack meeting in Texas to remember and share.

    “[85 year old survivor] Curre lived through hell, but today he has an easy smile and a doting daughter. He speaks about his experience at schools, and this week people have asked for his autograph. At the same time, he knows that Pearl Harbor Day isn’t as widely observed as it used to be. His hometown of Waco, Texas, stopped holding official memorial events long ago. “Usually it’s just him and three other guys” who get together to observe the day, his daughter tells me.

    This bothers him. “If we forget Pearl Harbor and all that we went through, we’re doomed in the future,” he says. He draws parallels between Dec. 7 and Sept. 11. “If we go so long without being attacked, we let our guard down,” he says. “That’s when they hit us”

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjRkYmQ2MGFkMzZlM2M3OTI3OTMzZmUyZTI0OGE0N2U=

    Comment by Dana — 12/7/2008 @ 11:26 am

  4. Good link, Dana. I agree we should never forget, but sadly too many are already willing to forget 9/11 … let alone Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust.

    Comment by DRJ — 12/7/2008 @ 1:16 pm

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