As the U.S. remembers the day Americans were attacked by naval and air forces of Japan at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the president and vice president honored those whose lives were lost on December 7, 1941, and those who served in World War II afterward.
In a White House presidential proclamation for “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day,” President Donald Trump shared that the brutal attack of “chaos, death, and destruction” took the lives of “2,400 American service members and wounded another 1,100 American citizens”:
Today, we remember all those killed on the island of Oahu on that fateful Sunday morning in 1941, and we honor the American patriots of the Greatest Generation who laid down their lives in the battles of World War II. America is forever blessed to have strong men and women with exceptional courage who are willing and able to step forward to defend our homeland and our liberty.
The president applauded those servicemembers and first responders who “mounted an incredibly brave defense,” as “pilots took to the air to engage enemy aircraft, sailors took their battle stations, and medical personnel cared for the wounded.”
— U.S. Naval History (@USNHistory) December 7, 2018
The attack occurred at 7:55 a.m. Honolulu time and killed 2,390 Americans. Then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy” and declared war on Japan the following day.
Since the day of the attack, there have been 15 recipients of the U.S. Navy Medal of Honor for their “acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.”
Today, we honor those who perished 77 years ago at Pearl Harbor, and we salute every veteran who served in World War II over the 4 years that followed that horrific attack. God Bless America! https://t.co/zbu4NLVr4G pic.twitter.com/5hbLDrqg40
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Trump quoted Roosevelt’s declaration to Congress following the attack:
“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]n the weeks, months, and years that followed the brutal attack at Pearl Harbor, Americans united with a steadfast resolve to defend the freedoms upon which our great Nation was founded,” Trump said. “Millions of brave men and women answered their country’s call to service with unquestionable courage. These incredible patriots fought, bled, sacrificed, and ultimately triumphed for the cause of freedom.
“We are blessed as a Nation to have as examples the incredible heroes of World War II, who fought so valiantly to preserve all that we hold dear,” he added.
Watch the video below:
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) December 7, 2018
The president mentioned his meeting with the oldest surviving U.S. veteran of Pearl Harbor, calling his meeting with Ray Chavez a “tremendous honor.”
Chavez, who died last month at the age of 106, was a crewmember of USS Condor, a minesweeper, on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, as IJR News previously reported. Trump said:
“[H]is legacy is forever etched into our country’s rich history, along with the legacies of all our brave veterans. They tell of the mettle of the American spirit under fire and of the will of our people to stand up to any threat. The selfless bravery and dedication of these extraordinary Americans will never be forgotten.”
We are saddened to hear the oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran, Ray Chavez, has passed away at the age of 106. We were honored to host him at the White House earlier this year. Thank you for your service to our great Nation, Ray! pic.twitter.com/CA7Xdcxz89
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 22, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence set out to honor the “beloved fallen lost,” those who fought to preserve the freedoms in the U.S.
“We will never forget what happened that fateful morning and we will always remember that Generation of Americans whose service & sacrifice preserved our freedom,” Pence wrote on Twitter.