U.S History 1877-
Pearl Harbor is arguably the most devastatingly tragic event witnessed on American soil. The Japanese had violated the integrity of life in America, which was not to go unpunished. The “Day of Infamy” as it has been coined, catapulted the nation into a state of shock and retaliation. Many Americans who lived through the tragic event remember the occurrence with great detail and clarity. Considering the bombing at Pearl Harbor happened over 60 years ago, personal accounts and testimonies are quickly diminishing. Revisiting the past is crucial in understanding what freedom is and how hard it was to obtain. Pearl Harbor remains as ...view middle of the document...
“Yesterday,” President Roosevelt said on December 8, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.” He went on to say, “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when 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.” After the Pearl Harbor attack the American people were united in their decision to go to war.
It was during Roosevelt’s third term in office when he asked congress to declare war on the axis powers. The invasion hit home for Mr. Groff - three of his high school alumni were found dead at the site of the bombing. The debacle in the Pacific led to many of Mr. Goff’s peers rushing into the armed forces. An organized civilian defense system had been set up in the neighborhood in case of emergency. The father of Mr. Groff was coined as the air raid warden, and Mr. Groff was the messenger.
On December 7, after months of preparation and practice, the Japanese military launched their attack. The Japanese plan of action was to paralyze the American naval fleet, which would allow for their expansion across the South Pacific. At around 8 a.m., Japanese planes covered the sky over beautiful Pearl Harbor. Bombs and bullets paraded onto the war vessels moored below. At approximately 8:10 bombs smashed through the deck of the battleship USS Arizona. The ship plummeted to the bottom of the ocean with more than a thousand soldiers trapped inside. Following the bomb, torpedoes penetrated the shell of the battleship USS Oklahoma. With over 400 sailors aboard the Oklahoma, the ship lost her footing and rolled onto her side and submerged into the ocean. By the time the invasion had ended, every battleship in the harbor–USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS California, USS West Virginia, USS Utah, USS Maryland, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee and USS Nevada–had sustained significant damage (All ships were eventually restored to working condition with the exception of the USS Arizona and the USS Utah). In all, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor crippled and damaged eighteen American ships and nearly 300 airplanes. Dry docks and airfields were likewise destroyed. Most important, almost 2,500 men were killed and another 1,000 were wounded.
The high school in Mr. Groff’s hometown started incorporating many different programs such as first aid into the educational system. The high school also started organizing aid raid drills which...