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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Attack Remembered at 70th Anniversary

The Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor and those who lost their lives that day are being remembered  on the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II.

About 120 survivors will join Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, military leaders and civilians to observe a moment of silence in Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time — the moment the attack began seven decades ago.

About 3,000 people are expected to attend the event held each year at a site overlooking the sunken USS Arizona and the white memorial that straddles the battleship

On this day 70 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and requested a declaration of war against Japan following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor the day before. Roosevelt's words carried forth across the nation via radio, and the consequences of the actions America would take would be felt around the world--and across history. The lessons America learned in those fateful days should be remembered even today.

Roosevelt noted that the day of Japan's attack would be "a date which will live in infamy," and he also pledged the following:

"I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

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."

Just as Roosevelt proclaimed that "hostilities exist" 70 years ago, those words are true today. The United States faces threats at home and abroad--as we were reminded on September 11 and with every man and woman in military who makes the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms. The hostilities we face today are different from those we may face tomorrow, and there is no telling what challenges may lie around the corner. For that reason, our military must stand ready, prepared, and adequately equipped and funded to meet all threats, foreign and domestic.

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