KNOXVILLE (Dec. 7, 2011) -- Seventy years ago today, the Japanese military attacked U.S. Naval forces at Pearl Harbor; the following day, the United States of America was a nation at war. Just three and a half hours before signing the declaration of war against Japan, in an address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed Dec. 7, 1941, to be a “date which will live in infamy.”
The attack at Pearl Harbor was devastating. In just two hours, the Japanese managed to destroy approximately 20 naval vessels and nearly 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 servicemen were killed and half that many were left wounded. The attack shook the nation and forced the U.S. into the two-year-old conflict that had become World War II. From the ashes of Pearl Harbor rose the “Greatest Generation.”
“The ‘Greatest Generation’ sacrificed on the battle field and at home, but this nation worked together to do the job that needed to be done, and they should never be forgotten,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “Everyone was impacted by the war, including my own family. Both my father and my uncle served during World War II, while my mother worried and went to school back home. Fortunately, my dad made it home safe, but mom’s brother never returned. He was killed in Europe, shortly after D-Day.”
A total of 7,727 Tennessee servicemen were killed or missing during World War II, according to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Click here for images and an overview of the attack.
Click here to learn more about President Roosevelt’s address and to hear excerpts from his speech.
Click here for the World War II honor list of dead and missing Army and Army Air Forces personnel by state.
Click here for state summary of war casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Crops, and Coast Guard Personnel.