President Franklin Roosevelt would describe it as “a day that will live in infamy.” Eighty years ago on December 7, 1941, the military forces of the Empire of Japanese launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the surrounding facilities. The primary targets that day were the eight battleships of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
All would be sunk, but six would later be returned to action. In total 2,403 Americans were killed on that faithful day. Yet, Americans rallied, unified and came together.
On Tuesday, the hashtag #PearlHarbor was trending, as Americans young and old posted on social media and reflected on that moment that changed the nation. Images and videos were shared that reminded why it was truly the “Greatest Generation” that stood up to the challenge that began on the sunny Sunday morning in Hawaii eight decades ago.
“Today we take the time to reflect, remember, and honor the 2,403 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice at #PearlHarbor 80 years ago. Our @USArmy will continue to honor the fallen and those impacted by this tragic day while safeguarding democracy and defending our nation,” the official account of the Secretary of the Army posted.
The U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) tweeted, “A date which will live in infamy. Today we pause to honor our American heroes and remember those who lost their lives 80 years ago during the attack on #PearlHarbor that launched our nation into World War II.”
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle marked the moment on Tuesday on Twitter.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (@SenRubioPress) wrote, “Today, we remember the American lives lost 80 years ago today at #PearlHarbor. We must never forget freedom comes at a cost, and our gratitude is forever with those who gave their lives defending our great nation in times of peril.”
“Eighty years ago today, we lost more than 2,400 of our fellow Americans at #PearlHarbor on one of the worst days in our nation’s history. We will never forget that horrific attack and the brave men and women of the Greatest Generation who answered the call to serve,” wrote Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana (@RepBanks)
Such sentiment was shared by Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (@RepFitzgearld) of Wisconsin, “80 years ago today, we lost 2,403 brave Americans in the fateful morning attack on #PearlHarbor. Today, we pay our respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the heroes who fought on to protect our country in WWII. #PearlHarborRemembranceDay”
Rep. Julia Brownley of California (@RepBrownley), member of the House Committee of Veteran Affairs, tweeted, “80 years ago, the course of our country’s history was changed. We honor the servicemembers who lost their lives at #PearlHarbor and we commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who served our country in the days and years that followed.”
“80 years ago, our nation was attacked at #PearlHarbor. We lost 2,403 of our brave men in uniform that day, and America always remembers their selfless sacrifice and service,” tweeted Rep. Julia Letlow of Louisanna (@RepJuliaLetlow).
Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) of Georgia, tweeted, ” Today we honor those who courageously lost their lives in the attack on #PearlHarbor 80 years ago.
May God bless those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the survivors, and all in the Greatest Generation to whom we owe an immeasurable debt to. We will never forget your sacrifice!”
“80 years ago, the course of our country’s history was changed. We honor the servicemembers who lost their lives at #PearlHarbor and continue to honor the millions of servicemembers from every walk of life who bravely served our country in the days and years that followed,” posted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashia) of Michigan.
There were more than 15,000 tweets on Tuesday morning that marked the solemn occasion, and that number was expected to increase throughout the day
The official account of the Rock Island Arsenal (@Arsenal_Island) posted, “On this day, 80 years ago, our Nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it ‘a date which will live in infamy.’ Today, we honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice that day. #PearlHarbor”
Motivation speaker Janine Stange (@THEANTHEMGIRL) shared her thoughts, “Grateful to our BRAVE who did not run, but gave their all at #PearlHarbor. Here is a vintage Recruiting poster ‘Remember Pearl Harbor'”
The official Twitter account of The Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. marked the anniversary, “‘A day that will live in infamy.’ 80 years ago today, Japanese warplanes attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,300 Americans were killed. The @CIA was established in 1947 to prevent another #PearlHarbor.”
The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) was among the news outlets that honored a particular hero of Pearl Harbor, “On Dec. 7, 1941, Dorie Miller, a cook with no weapons training, fired upon Japanese planes as they attacked the USS West Virginia. Miller was later awarded the U.S. Navy Cross. He was the first Black sailor to be awarded the medal. #PearlHarbor”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) also honored Dorie Miller on Twitter, “In memory of the lives lost, the lives saved and the lives forever changed following the attack on our nation, December 7, 1941. #RememberPearlHarbor. Learn more about a Texan and American hero, Dorie Miller: https://youtu.be/qaLhoCViEmY”
Even as the United States remains deeply divided politically, the commentary on social media is a sign of unity that reminds us that in tough times our great nation can still come together and find common ground and unity.