On this day the American Ex-Servicemen's Association remembers the lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On 7 December 1941, Japan entered the Second World War by attacking allied forces in the Pacific. The most infamous of these was the deadly airstrike on the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack aimed to destroy the fleet and prevent the US from influencing the coming war in the Pacific. It sank or damaged 21 ships and destroyed 181 aircraft. It also saw the deaths of 2,403 people, with a further 1,178 wounded.
Despite the destruction and loss of life, the attack failed in its aims. Public opinion in the United States swung away from isolationism and Congress declared war the next day. The Pacific Fleet was almost completely recovered - 6 of the 8 damaged battleships would go on to fight in the war.
Each year, the American Ex-Servicemen's Association remembers the 2,403 lives lost at Pearl Harbor and honours the sacrifice of those soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and civilians.
- Shrine Governor Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED
Reviewed 13 August 2021