Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thirteen Things You Should Know About Today

Thirteen Things You Should Know About Today

Do you know what today is? Do your kids?

  1. Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

  2. Japan's two-hour aerial raid killed 2,403 people and wound 1,178 others.

  3. It destroyed or heavily damaged 21 ships and 32 aircraft.

  4. It plunged the United States into World War II.

  5. Four in five servicemen on the USS Arizona, 1,177 in all, did not survive the day. It sank in 9 minutes.

  6. It was the greatest loss of life of any ship in U.S. naval history. The men remain entombed in the battleship's sunken hull, which still seeps oil every few seconds, leaving a visible sheen on the harbor water.

  7. However, the American aircraft carriers were not in port. They were out to sea. As later results would prove, the aircraft carrier was the dominant ship in the navy. By not sinking the American carriers, the Japanese left the American left fleet largely intact. Of the 21 ships that were sunk on December 7, 1941, all but three were eventually refitted and sailed again under the American flag during the war.

  8. Before 7 a.m. the radar station at Opana Point picked up a signal indicating a large flight of planes approaching from the north. These were thought to be either aircraft flying in from the carrier Enterprise or an anticipated flight of B-17s from the mainland, so no action was taken.

  9. The USS Oklahoma rolled over on its side, pinning many men inside and underwater. Some were rescued; many were not. Of the crew of 1,301, 429 died.

  10. Army Air Corps pilots managed to take off in a few fighters and may have shot down 12 enemy planes. At 10 a.m. the second wave of attacking planes withdrew to the north, and the assault was over. The Japanese lost 29 planes and five midget submarines.

  11. "Yesterday, December seventh, 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." President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he announced America's entrance into WWII.

  12. "I feel no animosity toward the Japanese. All wars, none of them solved anything." Powerful words spoken by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Willliams who was a 18-year-old soldier in Pearl Harbor 65 years ago.

  13. "More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments." Franklin D. Roosevelt

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