December 7, a date which will live in infamy.
On that day in 1941, Japanese naval aircraft flying off aircraft carriers bombed the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack. They sank or damaged all the U.S. battleships in the Pacific. The sneak attack brought the U.S. into WW2, which changed the country, and the world, forever.
What the Japanese didn’t get at Pearl Harbor were any of the U.S. carriers, which were elsewhere. Perhaps unknown just then, carriers were the true behemoths of the oceans, and the Japanese lost the war on the first day by missing them. But it was a long and bloody road to Tokyo and Berlin from the debacle at Pearl Harbor.
My father and all of my uncles fought in WW2. One was a Marine radioman who fought in two island battles in the Pacific. One was a Marine Gunnery Officer on board a warship which participated in numerous combat operations. One was an Army officer in the Philippines engaged in mopping up scattered Japanese forces after the battle for Manila. One flew a B-25 in the North African campaign. Thankfully they all returned unscathed (except for, perhaps, horrible life-long nightmares). All have since departed except for one who lives in a nursing home in Colorado, cared for by his loving daughter.