Pearl Harbor was a day in United States history that shaped our country forever. The lasting impacts are still felt to this day, and every December American’s take some time out of their busy lives to reflect on the past and remember those who were lost.
It was on December 7, 1941, just before 8 a.m., when hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack lasted just two hours but the devastation and impact shocked the U.S. During that short time the Japanese destroyed almost 20 American naval ships, including USS Arizona. 200 airplanes were also destroyed. The most devastating news was the 2,000 American soldiers that were lost with another 1,000 soldiers that were injured. This attack lead President Roosevelt to ask Congress to declare war on Japan and ultimately lead to the United States joining World War II.
This event shaped not only the United States history, but also the history of many soldiers that served in the armed forces and in WWII from Iowa. When the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, there were numerous soldiers from Iowa who survived that devastating day. There were a total of 87 soldiers who survived that day and the men represented the USS Arizona, the USS Oklahoma, the USS West Virginia, the USS Shaw, the USS Nevada, the USS Tennessee, and the USS California. Out of these 87 men, 3 were from the Siouxland area; Kenneth Bosley, George Branham, and Harry Nichols.
Pearl Harbor is a day that many Americans will never forget, especially those who were there or those who lost someone on that devastating day of December 7th. This is a day that all Americans should remember; this is a day where everyone should take the time to think about the men and women who lay down their lives for people like you and me, and this day should never be forgotten. This year on December 7th, take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on the past and to remember those who lost their lives defending our country.