A day that will always ‘live in infamy’

Seventy years ago today, Japanese bombers dove out of the quiet of a Sunday morning sky in Hawaii, sank or severely damaged more than 20 U.S. ships in Pearl Harbor and killed more than 2,400 Americans.

They also did what Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto reportedly feared they might. The attacks awakened “a sleeping giant.”

The United States declared war on Japan and — a short time later — Germany and all of the Axis countries. Millions of Americans enlisted or were drafted into the military. Millions more joined the war effort at home, as the country mobilized quickly to produce ships, planes, tanks, guns and other weapons of war.

World War II would be the all-consuming event for this country and most of the world for the next four years, until the Germans and finally the Japanese, surrendered.

It became the event that defined a generation. The Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby related the personal stories of a number of local people who were involved in the war in a special section in Sunday’s paper. More stories will be recounted online at http://www.gjsentinel.com/ww2.

It is impossible, of course, to list all of the stories of all the World War II veterans and their families. There were simply too many people involved.

But, today especially, we should offer our unbound gratitude to those who fought in the military of this country or served the war effort at home to halt the great evil that then threatened the world. And we honor those who never made it home from that terrible war. The freedom and prosperity we enjoy today are due to their combined efforts.


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