Remembering Pearl Harbor

Many residents in our Senior Lifestyle communities across the country have remarkable memories of the events leading up to World War II. The attack on Pearl Harbor is an especially vivid memory for most, with residents noting that they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the devastating news. At Senior Lifestyle, we want to commemorate those memories and reflect on the sacrifices so many made in the war effort. Senior Lifestyle salutes the veterans of all wars and we are honored to provide care to every resident we serve.

December 7th is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a time to commemorate the events of December 7, 1941, a date whose events will be remembered by Americans forever. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was intended to cause the United States to decrease its presence in the Pacific, but instead catapulted the United States into World War II. The day following the bombing of Pearl Harbor found President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking Congress to declare war on Japan in a speech that called the attack by the Japanese “a date which will live in infamy”. The resolution passed, and the United States joined the Allied war effort.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, December 7th, 1941, the Japanese commenced a bombing raid of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. At total of 360 Japanese war planes came out of the clouds and left most of the United States’ Pacific fleet damaged or sunk, rendering Pearl harbor helpless and largely defenseless. While radar operators were aware of a large group of incoming aircraft, they were told not to sound the alarm as a group of American B-17s were expected to arrive at any time. More than 2,400 Americans died and 1,200 were wounded defending Pearl Harbor from the attack, while the Japanese lost fewer than 100 men. Thankfully, all three of the American carriers stationed in the Pacific were out to sea at the time of the attack, saving hundreds of lives and providing the U.S. with a decisive victory over Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway.

While December 7th is not a federal holiday and banks, post offices and schools remain open, Americans observe the date with flags flown at half-mast, wreath-laying ceremonies and memorial services to honor those who were injured or killed in the attack. Of special significance is the memorial ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, built upon the remains of the sunken ship, which rests in the harbor. The memorial, built by Austrian-born architect Alfred Preis, was dedicated in 1962 and serves as a remembrance of all military personnel who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

We at Senior Lifestyle invite you to join us as we remember the Americans injured or lost at Pearl Harbor and to reflect on the long-term effects of that “day of infamy”. We reserve a special place of honor for those residents in our communities who survived the attack, or were moved to enlist as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They have our utmost respect and gratitude.

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