It was a “day that will live forever,” as President Franklin Roosevelt described it. On December 7, 1941 the Empire of Japanese military forces launched an attack against the U.S. Navy’s Pearl Harbor base, Hawaii, and surrounding facilities. That day, the main targets were eight battleships belonging to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
Six would return to action, while all would sink. That faithful day saw 2,403 Americans die. But Americans rallied and unified, and they came together.
The hashtag #PearlHarbor trended on Tuesday as Americans of all ages posted to social media, reflecting on the moment that transformed the country. Many shared videos and images that showed why the “Greatest Generation,” stood up against the challenge of Hawaii’s sunny Sunday morning eight decades ago.
“Today, we remember the 2,403 Americans who gave their lives at PearlHarbor 80 year ago. “Our @USArmy will continue honoring the fallen, and those affected by this tragic date while safeguarding democracy & defending our country,” posted the official account for the Secretary of Army.
Tweeted the U.S. Coast Guard, @USCG: “A date that will live in infamy.” Today, we take a moment to pay tribute to our American heroes as well as remember the lives of those who were killed in the #PearlHarbor attack that launched us into World War II.
On Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of Congress marked the occasion on Twitter.
Sen. Marco Rubio (@SenRubioPress), Florida wrote: “Today, We Remember the American Lives Lost 80 Years Ago Today at #PearlHarbor. Never forget that freedom is not without cost. We will forever be grateful to those who sacrificed their lives for our country in times of need.
“Eighty years ago today, we lost more than 2,400 of our fellow Americans at #PearlHarbor on one of the worst days in our nation’s history. That horrific attack will be a part of our collective memory forever. We’ll never forget the men and women from the Greatest Generation that answered the call to service,” tweeted Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana (@RepBanks).
Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (@RepFitzgearld), of Wisconsin shared this sentiment. “80 years ago today we lost 2,403 courageous Americans in #PearlHarbor’s fateful morning attack.” We pay tribute today to the fallen and those brave men who continued to fight for our freedom in WWII. #PearlHarborRemembranceDay”
Rep. Julia Brownley of California (@RepBrownley), a member of House Committee of Veteran Affairs tweeted: “80 years back, the course of America’s history was transformed. We pay tribute to the fallen servicemembers at Pearl Harbor and remember those who gave their lives for our country over the many years.
“80 years ago our country was attacked at Pearl Harbor. 2.403 men died that day. America remembers them for their bravery and selfless service,” tweeted Rep. Julia Letlow from Louisanna (@RepJuliaLetlow).
Rep. Jody Haice of Georgia (@CongressmanHice), tweeted: “Today we honour those who bravely lost their lives during the attack on PearlHarbor 80 Years ago.”
God bless all those who paid the ultimate price, the survivors and the Greatest Generation. We owe them an incalculable debt. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten!
The course of America’s history changed 80 years ago. We remember the #PearlHarbor servicemen who were killed and honor all the others who bravely served the country over the following years,” wrote Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (@RepRashia).
On Tuesday morning, there were over 15,000 tweets marking the solemn occasion. This number is expected to rise throughout the day.
Official account for Rock Island Arsenal (@Arsenal_Island), stated that “On this date, 80 years ago our Nation was attacked in Pearl Harbor.” It was a day that will be remembered fondly by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We honor those who gave their lives for our country today. #PearlHarbor”
Janine Stange, motivation speaker (@THEANTHEMGIRL), shared her thoughts: “Grateful for our BRAVEs who didn’t run, but gave it all at #PearlHarbor.” This is an old Recruiting poster, “Remember Pearl Harbor”
The anniversary was marked by The Spy Museum’s official Twitter account in Washington, D.C. It was 80 years ago today that Japanese warplanes attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There were more than 2300 Americans killed. In 1947, @CIA was founded to stop another PearlHarbor.
The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated), was one of the news outlets to honor a specific hero from Pearl Harbor. “On December 7, 1941, Dorie M. Miller, a cook without weapons training, opened fire on Japanese aircrafts attacking the USS West Virginia. Later, Miller received the U.S. Navy Cross. The medal was awarded to Miller as the first Black sailor. #PearlHarbor”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott), also honored Dorie Mills on Twitter: “In Memory of the lives lost and saved, and the lives forever altered following the attack against our nation, December 7, 1941.” #RememberPearlHarbor. Learn more about a Texan and American hero, Dorie Miller: https://youtu.be/qaLhoCViEmY”
The commentary posted on social media by the United States is an example of unity, even though the country remains politically divided. It reminds us all that we can come together in difficult times and find common ground.