Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Message

December 7, 2012, marks 71 years since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that resulted in 3,500 dead or wounded Americans and 18 ships sunk or severely damaged. That fateful day in history forever changed America.

This ruthless attack was meant to weaken our nation - our enemies ignorant of the American people’s resolve and determination. Though many dark days followed the attack, it ultimately served to reawaken our national pride and spirit, unite us in the name of democracy and produce America’s “greatest generation.” It placed America into the global-leadership position it maintains today.  

The United States and its people have never accepted defeat or succumbed to intimidation. Defending our way of life—our freedom—carried our great nation to victory in World War II and in every war since. 

Though a great many of the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor are no longer with us, we remember their resolve, their contributions through service and their devotion to duty.  As we pause to remember the brave Americans who perished in the attack and those who subsequently defended our freedom, we remain inspired by their perseverance, selflessness and sense of patriotic pride.