“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people will through their righteous might win through absolute victory...with confidence in our armed forces with the unbounded determination of our people we will gain the inevitable triumph so help us God.”

–Franklin D. Roosevelt


On the morning of 7 September 1941, while the World War II was in progress, the Japanese Naval forces attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbour in Honolulu, Hawaii. This ultimately led to the US involvement in World War II, and the famous US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan as a response to the Japanese aggression at Pearl Harbour.

The attack at Pearl Harbour was a preventative action taken by Japan as a response to the US interference in Japan’s actions in Southeast Asia. The Japanese fighter planes managed to destroy nearly 20 American vessels and over 300 airplanes. Around 2400 Americans were killed in the attacks and about a 1000 were injured. The attack came as a huge shock to the Americans, one that they had not been expecting at all, and immediately resulted in President Roosevelt declaring war.

The Pearl Harbor attack is deeply etched in the collective American memory, and one that is often invoked in American politics. This attack was seen as a huge threat and attack on USA’s territory, therefore, every time there has been an attack within the US, events from Pearl Harbour are remembered again and again. In particular, after the 9/11 attack on the Twin towers in New York City, the USA continually brought up the Pearl Harbor attack and compared the 9/11 attack to it. US invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq were also premised on the huge shock they had received in New York, which to them was a repeat of what happened at Pearl Harbour. Thus, the attack at Pearl Harbour continues to be remembered in the US as a vicious attack on the US sovereignty.