A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

Dear Editor,

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941– a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Those words, spoken by FDR to a joint meeting of the House and Senate, was the opening of a speech that led the United States to declaring war on the Empire of Japan. An interesting fact is that Japan did not declare war on the U.S. until after the attack.

It’s also said that Admiral Yamamoto commented that waking the sleeping giant will bring about great vengeance within six months. On June 4-7, 1942, the battle of Midway took place in which Japan lost almost all their carriers and brought about the turning point in the Battle of the Pacific.

I lost an uncle I never knew I had in the invasion of Manila. He survived the Bataan Death March and died on a Japanese Hell Ship, which were freighters Japan used to transport POWs without markings indicating they were carrying POWs. One was the Arisan Maru, an unmarked freighter carrying 1,781 prisoners of war, which was sunk by an American submarine that did not know it was carrying POWs. Nine men survived the sinking, three of whom were later killed or recaptured. That happened nine years to the day before my birthday and I never knew about it until about 25 years ago.

God bless those true Americans who died on Dec. 7 and in the war that followed. I render a hand salute those men and women that died and those that survived. God bless you all!

Carpe diem,

Alan Marshall