This week’s Coastal Point has a publication date of Dec. 7, 2018. For many, that “Dec. 7” date holds special significance.
Really, it should hold significance for all of us.
It was Dec. 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked United States soil with a surprise military strike at the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Along with the ships sunk in the attack, the attackers destroyed 188 American aircrafts, according to “Pearl Harbor Facts,” 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.
The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan during his “date which will live in infamy” speech, and on Dec. 11, Germany and Italy responded by declaring war on the United States. The attack on Pearl Harbor directly put us into World War II, and sent our young people off into both the European and Pacific theaters.
Approximately 3 percent of the world’s population died during World War II, with estimates between 70-85 million people losing their lives through combat, disease and famine — roughly 50 million of those killed were civilians, according to figures on Wikipedia. More than 400,000 of those deaths were American.
We mourn every life lost during that war, and all wars. And we will never forget Pearl Harbor.