By Brandon Moseley

The forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a devastating aerial attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, 80 years ago Tuesday. The one-hour and 55-minute surprise attack killed 2,335 U.S. service members and wounded 1,143. 68 American civilians were also killed and 35 others were injured.

The attack resulted in the United States' entry into World War II as the nation had no choice at that point. Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany and Benito Mussolini in fascist Italy followed the lead of their ally on the next day and declared war on the United States.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) called December 7, 1941, "A date that will live in infamy."

Eight battleships were docked at Pearl Harbor that day. All eight were damaged and four of them sunk.

The USS Arizona was hit several times and exploded when a Japanese bomb detonated inside the ship's forward magazine. 1,100 U.S. sailors and Marines were killed on Arizona alone. Their watery grave remains in Peal Harbor to this day where the wreckage of the ship remains. 265 American aircraft were shot down or destroyed on the ground. Most of the battleships at Pearl Harbor were raised, repaired, and went on to fight in World War II at enormous effort by the sailors and shipyard workers involved; but Arizona was too damaged to salvage.

Somehow, all of the American aircraft carriers were not at Pearl Harbor that day, seven of USS Enterprise's aircraft were shot down as the ship was just 215 miles away and in the process of returning to port so some of her planes were arriving ahead of the ship. If the Japanese fleet had stayed in the area to launch follow-up attacks on Pearl Harbor could potentially have been even more crippling. Enterprise attempted a counterattack; but the Navy wrongly guessed that the Japanese fleet was south of Oahu so its aircraft never located the Japanese ships.

The Whitehouse released a statement:

"On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked our forces at Pearl Harbor and other locations in Hawaii, taking the lives of 2,403 service members and civilians and leading the United States to declare its entrance into World War II. It was a day that still lives in infamy 80 years later. As we mark National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the patriots who perished, commemorate the valor of all those who defended our Nation, and recommit ourselves to carrying forth the ensuing peace and reconciliation that brought a better future for our world.  Today, we give thanks to the Greatest Generation, who guided our Nation through some of our darkest moments and laid the foundations of an international system that has transformed former adversaries into allies.

"A decade ago, I paid my respects at the USS Arizona Memorial — where 1,177 crewmen lost their lives on that terrible December day," President Joe Biden wrote in the statement. "To this day, beads of oil still rise to the surface of the water — metaphorical "Black Tears" shed for those lost in the attack.  Reading those names etched in marble was a mournful reminder of the sacrifices and the human cost of protecting our Nation and the ideals this great country represents.  Our Nation remains forever indebted to all those who gave their last full measure of devotion eight decades ago.  We will never forget those who perished, and we will always honor our sacred obligation to care for our service members, veterans, and their families, caregivers, and survivors.

"The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day," Biden said. "NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2021, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave warriors that day and remember their sacrifices.  I ask us all to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unthinkable day.  I urge all Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on December 7, 2021, in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor."

Approximately 420,000 Americans died in World War II. 65 million to 85 million died globally and that entire generation was scarred by their shared experience in that war – the largest war in global history.