Without them, we wouldn’t have an America to be thankful for

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Dec. 7, 1941 marks a day that most older Americans will not forget. It was the day that America was attacked at home, and the day that the United States made the decision to enter World War II.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor that occurred 60 years ago was the last attack on American soil previous to the September 11 attacks. The attacks in Hawaii came about due to the rising tension between Japan and the United States.

Throughout the 1930s, Japan was steadily encroaching on Chinese lands, and the United States was adamant about keeping the small country contained. Japan, however, was reluctant to push the United States too far, and as their own form of protection, Japan joined the Triple Alliance with Italy and Germany on September 27, 1940.

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As a result, the United States then put an embargo on aviation gasoline, scrap metal and iron, and in July 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping and added oil to the embargo list.

After an attempt to peacefully settle the situation in the Far East, it was obvious that war was inevitable. On November 25, 1941, the Japanese began dispatching troops eastward toward Hawaii and stationing many troops on the Malayan border.

The U.S. was expecting an attack on Malaya, and only general warnings were given to the troops in Pearl Harbor.

At 7:55 a.m. on December 7, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, and a hour later, a second wave ensued.

A total of 2,323 U.S. servicemen were killed.

The very next day, President Roosevelt told the American public that Dec. 7 was a &uot;date which would live in infamy.&uot;

Now, 60 years later, another date will &uot;live in infamy.&uot; A total of 3,682 people are either confirmed dead or missing and presumed dead from the Sept. 11 attacks, according to CNN.

The anniversary of Pearl Harbor will hold a significance unlike any in past years. Many veterans will now remember two attacks on American soil that occurred in their lifetime, but they also will remember that America has not stood for it, and will continue to fight for American freedoms.

This Friday, take time to remember those who have fought in the past for American freedoms

those who have given their time and their lives

and take time to remember those fighting now.

Without these veterans and soldiers, we wouldn’t have an America to be grateful for.