Twenty-three sets of brothers died on the USS Arizona (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Later this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese Prime Minister will visit the site that put America into World War II and the first Japanese leader to do so since WW II.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7,1941 was an attack on all of America. At the time, no one believed that anyone had the capability to attack the US.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words still resonate today. “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date that shall live in infamy.”

The attack put the United States into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters.

I found a few facts you might not have known about that fateful day.

Some Little Known Facts About Pearl Harbor

In the early dawn hours of Sunday, December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked an American navel base at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor was classified as a war crime by the Tokyo Trials since there was no declaration of war and Japan attacked without an explicit warning.

Forewarning Of The Attack

Lt. Kermit Tyler commanded a training crew at the radar station in Oahu that morning.

The station picked up the Japanese force on radar but since the sheer size and number of planes seemed impossible to the trainees they assumed their equipment must have been malfunctioning and gave no warning of the impending attack.

Thankfully the principle target of the Japanese was missing from the base. The US aircraft carriers were all at sea so a second attack by the Japanese was cancelled.

But it would be more than a year before the navel fleet in the Pacific would be at full strength.

All the ships attacked at Pearl Harbor were eventually raised and put back into service. Only one was left behind where it was — The USS Arizona.

The USS Arizona

The crew of the USS Arizona had been given permission to sleep in that morning because they had won a dance contest held the night before.

Only a skeleton crew was above deck to sound the alarm. Many men never made it to their battle stations and the Arizona went down.

It was not uncommon for brothers to serve together in the military at that time. We were at peace and for many the military was good training for their return to civilian life.

As a result, 23 sets of brothers died during the attack on the Arizona.

Some Final Thoughts

The Japanese fleet destroyed 188 US Aircraft; and 2,403 Americans lost their lives that day and another 1,178 were wounded.

A forgotten footnote is the Japanese Invasion of Alaska. Actually more men were killed in that battle than at Pearl Harbor.

I doubt too much is taught in school about Pearl Harbor or the events following. The entire country came together to defeat, not just one, but two world powers.

We should never forget that any truly motivated enemy would not hesitate to attack America again.

Remember Pearl Harbor.

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