'A Day Which Will Live In Infamy' -- December 7, 1941
More than 200 US forces deployed in Southwest Asia attended a
memorial retreat in honor of the 2,340 killed and 1,143 wounded in
the December 7, 1941 attacks on US military installations on Oahu,
Territory of Hawaii.
"We have come here today to pay honor and homage to our nations'
heroes, the fallen and survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor,"
said Brig. Gen Charles Lyon, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
commander. "Let us never forget there is a price to pay for
freedom. It doesn't come free."
"December 7th, a day which will live in infamy" was how then
President Franklin Roosevelt responded to the Pearl Harbor attack
which propelled the United States into World War II.
Although 66 years have passed, December 7 remains a day in which
all Americans should pause to remember the courage, sacrifices and
history associated with the attack, General Lyon said.
Younger generations need only remember the September 11 attacks
to understand the wide-range emotions including sadness, fear and
anger that swept the country following the Pearl Harbor attack, he
Today, deployed servicemen continue the legacy of defending the
nation and making personal sacrifices similar those who served in
World War II.
"December 7, 1941 was a day that plunged America, once again,
for the second time in the 20th century, into world war where we
joined an alliance to preserve democracy and a free way of life,"
said General Lyon.
Although the results of the Japanese attack were devastating,
even on this "Bloody Sunday" heroes were still found. Second
Lieutenants George S. Welch and Kenneth M. Taylor were the first to
take off from Haleiwa Field in their P-40s and engage the
They began shooting down Japanese Zeroes, each getting two
confirmed kills during their first engagement. By the end of the
day, Taylor had scored two confirmed kills, while Welch had four
confirmed enemy scores.
Reminders of the attack are still visible at Hickam Air Force
Base, Hawaii. The tattered flag that flew over the base that day is
encased and on display in the lobby of the building that was
originally the consolidated barracks, later named Hale Makai, which
means "house by the sea" in Hawaiian.
The former "Big Barracks" now serves as headquarters of the
Pacific Air Forces, and its bullet-scarred walls are carefully
preserved to serve as a constant reminder to never again be caught
"As Americans and as partners for freedom, we will never forget
the heroism, dedication and painful sacrifice of American Sailors,
Airmen, Soldiers and Marines that took place 66 years ago," said
(Aero-News salutes Capt. Mike Andrews, 379th Air
Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs)