On December 7th, 1941 the United States was attacked without provocation by an amassed Japanese Naval Air Force at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The Japanese had spent the majority of that year, and the previous, rampaging through the Western Pacific in an onslaught of war fueled by their tenuous alliance with Germany and other Axis Powers during what became known as World War II.
The United States had very little warning of the attack. There are conspiracy theories about the lack of preparedness for those who were in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack, and why the carrier fleet was at sea at the time when, realistically, every one of the carriers should have been moored at home port. The fact remains, though, that the military and civilian population of Oahu was left unaware of the coming battle. And battle they did. Japan didn't decimate the fleet of ships that remained in port that December morning without paying a significant toll in lives and equipment. Although the US Military lost over 2400 men along with 35 civilians that morning, the Japanese force suffered 64 casualties, and for their efforts were rewarded with having woken the sleeping giant that was the full force and unity of the United States. As war ravaged Europe and the Pacific the US population overwhelmingly supported entering the war, as many of our population held close ties to families left behind in the countries that were being torn asunder by Axis aggression. It was no secret that the war was going very badly for the Allies in Europe, and Japan was not meeting any credible resistance to their onslaught in Asia. Without a turn in the tides it was apparent the war would end with Axis Powers being the victor, and Nazi Socialism ruling in Europe and Japanese Imperialism ruling in Asia.
President Franklin Roosevelt, the following day, declared war on Japan and Germany in a speech, declaring that December 7th was "...a date which will live in infamy.", and that the "American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory."
Today, it is suggested that all Americans join Federal and State official offices throughout the World in displaying the American Flag on their homes in a show of solidarity with those who perished at Pearl Harbor in 1941, along with all others who gave their lives to protect Freedom, Liberty, and the World from the Tyranny that would have certainly overrun all opposition should our resolve have been less than necessary to meet the task.
There will be a remembrance ceremony attended by Pearl Harbor Survivors at Coast Guard Base Alameda, CA on 07DEC12 at 0900.