Pearl Harbor Remembrance Dayby Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Posted on 2015-12-07
in the house of representatives
Monday, December 7, 2015
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
honor the victims who were killed during the devastating attack on
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941--a date which will live in infamy.
Seventy-four years ago today, more than 2,000 American citizens lost
their lives and more than 1,000 others were injured in a surprise
attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The attack on Pearl Harbor shook our nation to its core. Up until this point, the United States had largely remained neutral during the Second World War. However, as a testament to our strength and our resolve, the United States declared war against the Japanese and entered World War II just one day following the attack. Contrary to what the Japanese had intended, the attack had only emboldened our nation to forge our own path to victory.
Tragedies such as the attack on Pearl Harbor serve as a stark reminder of the great personal sacrifices that our men and women in uniform must make in the service of protecting our nation. While many soldiers are fortunate enough to return from service, plenty of others have given up their lives in the act of duty. We are forever indebted to these men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedoms and way of life.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also about paying tribute to those who served--and survived--during the attack. Petty Officer Doris ``Dorie'' Miller was one such American who fought bravely during the conflict. Petty Officer Miller displayed remarkable courage when his ship, the USS West Virginia, came under attack. As the fighting occurred, Miller dragged his ship's commander, who was mortally wounded by shrapnel, out of the line of fire to safety. He then manned a 50- caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun and shot down at least three of the 29 Japanese planes that went down that day until he was ordered to abandon ship. While Petty Officer Miller survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, he sadly lost his life during a second attack during the Battle of Makin Island when a Japanese submarine and aircraft attack sunk his ship.
Mr. Speaker, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a defining moment in United States history. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day helps to remind us of the importance of defending our freedoms and the heavy cost of doing so. We are reminded on this day of those who lost their lives, but also the countless other veterans--such as Dorie Miller--who have made [[Page E1721]] invaluable contributions to our success during the Second World War.