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75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is Dec. 7

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Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 7:23 PM

“December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy ... 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 ... We are highly resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

President Franklin RooseveltNational Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually on Dec. 7, commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, during World War II.

Many American service men and women lost their lives or were injured on Dec. 7, 1941. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day.

On the direction of the president, the flag of the United States of America should be displayed on the homes of Americans, the White House and all United States government buildings. The flag should be flown at half-staff to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, the American Army and Navy base in Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The attack came as a surprise to the American Army and Navy and led to great losses of life and equipment. More than 2,000 American citizens were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. The Americans also lost a large portion of their battleships and nearly 200 aircraft that were stationed in the Pacific region.

More than 60 Japanese servicemen were killed, injured or captured. The Japanese Navy also lost five midget submarines and 29 aircraft.

The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States of America from increasing its influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and so entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt, in a speech to Congress, stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy.” Shortly afterward, Germany declared war on the United States. In the months that followed the attack, the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” swept the United States and radio stations repeatedly played a song of the same name.

In 1991, which marked the 50th anniversary of the attack, Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who was present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military.

The medal can also be awarded to civilians who were killed or injured in the attack.

Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or schleeterrs@co.laplata.co.us.

For more information

The La Plata County Veterans Service Office provides information and assis­tance to veterans and their families. For more information, visit the county website at www.co.laplata.co.us and type “veterans services” in the search window. The Veterans Service Office and the Durango VA Clinic are located at 1970 East Third Ave. The office phone number is 759-0117. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays. Appointments are encouraged. To schedule an appoint­ment, call 382-6150. For clinic appointments, call 247-2214.
Help for vetsThe Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans, family and friends. Call (800) 273-8255 and press 1. You also can text professional responders at 838255 or chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net.
Health care van serviceDisabled American Veterans is running a VA health-care van from Durango to Albuquerque on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from Farmington to Albuquerque on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you want to use the DAV transportation network, contact DAV coordinators at:
Durango area – 442-0149Cortez area – (970) 676-1116Farmington/Aztec – (505) 793-1782

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