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The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

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December 7, 1991, the day that changed the lives of the American people. This event was the first day that American soil was attacked. The first day that American’s realized that their home front wasn’t truly safe from the outside world. This was the day that the naval base of Pearl Harbor was attacked.

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“As a serene dawn broke on Oahu’s eastern horizon on December 7, 1941, there was little hint that anything other than a pleasant tropical morning would greet the enlisted men of Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor on Ford Island”. The men were up and about, enjoying their Sunday. Those working were lazing about, simply killing time. Most of the base’s aircraft were grounded, with no reason for them being in the air. The base was obviously in no condition to fight, but the Japanese didn’t care.

The Japanese had a struggling economy in 1941. They heavily depended on imports for their goods because of a lack of natural resources. In recent years, they had begun expanding their territory in an effort to expand the natural resources they had at home. After conquering parts of China and Indochina, they were ready to attack the Philippines and the countries of Southeast Asia. The only problem was that these areas were protected by America’s Pacific Fleet.

“North of Hawaii, all was not well. A formation of 183 Japanese aircraft led by Commander Fuchida Mitsuo had entered Hawaiian airspace and deployed for attacks against the US Pacific Fleet warships moored at Ford Island”. The Japanese aircraft were targeting the aircraft and warships of America’s Pacific Fleet. With America’s Pacific Fleet immobilized, Japan would have little resistance conquering the Philippines and the countries of Southeast Asia. With the natural resources acquired in these lands, they would be one step closer to prosperity.

After the bombing, Pearl Harbor was in complete ruin. The beautiful Sunday the locals were enjoying was over. 2,400 people died in Pearl Harbor that day. Of these 2,400 casualties, 1,777 went down in the USS Arizona. The USS Arizona was a US battleship that sank in only 9 minutes after a direct hit by a Japanese bomber. The men and women on that ship didn’t know who or what was attacking them before they died. Before they even had time to react, the ship was at the bottom of the harbor, with them in it.

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“One day there will be a last survivor and thus a last to remember”. The Bombing of Pearl Harbor happened almost 78 years ago. As time moves on, the memory of that day must not be forgotten. December 7, 1941, must be remembered for all those who were lost that day. For all those whose lives were changed that day. Sometimes all it takes to save the lives of thousands of people, is to look back on history and see the flaws of humanity.

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