“A date which will live in infamy”


I realize that it’s the season of Christmas, a time of joy.


But, well, today at least, if only for a few minutes, we should remember this:


On 7 December 1941, the forward magazine of the destroyer U.S.S. Shaw explodes, having just been hit by a Japanese torpedo bomb.
(Click to enlarge.)


There are relatively few still alive now who actually remember this day, and their number is beginning to dwindle rather rapidly.  But it should never be forgotten.



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  • Ray Agostini

    I never forget it. My youngest son was born on December 6, the day before the commemoration of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora”, the Japanese Admiral says, “I fear that all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant”. That fear culminated in the first, and only, atomic bomb drop in history, which effectively ended World War II, via the B-29 bomber “Enola Gay”.

    Very hesitant to engage in any more wars, America had no choice after the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, which will indeed live in infamy. The sinking of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, was perhaps the most brutal of all, where more than a thousand US sailors lost their lives in the “surprise attack” by the Japanese.

    In reality, they never stood a chance against the US Military, but Pearl Harbor was their moment of temporary glory. If they were wiser, they would have surrendered before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The day that changed the course of history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqNY88Amuzw

  • RaymondSwenson

    Many of us “Baby Boomers” are the product of marriages brought about by WW II. My wife’s father was an Iowa farm boy who was brought to Utah to guard the Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car as they practiced high altitude bombing at Wendover AFB. My Dad was a Utah boy who was stationed in Nagoya, Japan during the Occupation and met my Japanese mother at an MIA meeting.

    When I was in Hawaii in 1969 learning Japanese in preparation for missionary service in Hokkaido, we visited Pearl Harbor during filming of “Tora, Tora, Tora”. They had built a 3/5 replica of the Arizona, which sat in the water near the memorial that spans the bridge of the sunken battleship, and real planes were circling around, including a B-17. One of the unarmed bombers in that flight that arrived during the attack successfully landed, and then the tail assembly fell off. It was piloted by a captain named Raymond T. Swenson (not a relative) who completed his service as a lt.colonel (as I did 20 years ago). I get contacted occasionally to find out if I am him.

  • RaymondSwenson

    I have worked for eight years on the cleanup of nuclear waste that was created during the production of the plutonium used to make the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, and the ensuing Cold War. I worked five years at Strategic Air Command with policy issues related to the development and deployment of nuclear weapon systems. The legacy of Pearl Harbor is very much with us.

    Oh, and we are fortunate that neither the German nor Japanese atomic bomb projects were as successful as ours. As Hugh Nibley pointed out, during war, the combatants tend toward technological parity. If the war against Japan had dragged out for another year or two, it is not impossible that a uranium bomb might have been used by Japan against the US invasion forces. And the USSR would have taken over northern Japan and likely all of Korea, with the follow-on war against communist puppet governments being fought in Tohoku, north of Tokyo.

  • joe e.

    my Father passed away a year ago this past Tuesday @ 86….when he arrived in Pearl Harbor after the attack, what he noticed most was how his station aboard his ship was blown off of all those LST’s in the harbor. he wrote home, told his Dad to send him what money he care spare as he did not expect to return home as they where loading up for the invasion of Japan. my Father, always spoke of President Truman as the man who saved his life & many others. wish i could hear him tell me that again!

    • DanielPeterson

      I know exactly what you mean. My father passed away ten years ago, but it’s sometimes still painful.

  • mike

    We have a wonderful bishop who works in our local steelyards who never forgets to remind our congregation of important dates at the beginning of sacrament meeting. We are reminded every year of Pearl Harbor Day. Having served a mission in France many years ago, he also reminds us of Armistice Day. He asks us to honor the memories of those who served our country in those respective conflicts. Sadly, if not for him I am not sure many of us would recall those events.