On December 7, 1941, the United States naval fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked suddenly by Imperial Japanese planes. The importance of this event cannot be overstated. It was this attack that prompted the United States, only recently considered to be a major world player, into a military conflict that would consume the entire world.
Today on the 72nd anniversary, we honor the 2,402 people who were killed in the attacks and the over 1,000 people who were wounded. As President Franklin Roosevelt said in his famous December 8 Pearl Harbor Address:
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.