By Michelle Hazekamp
December 7, 2022
On this day in history, our pride was shattered and our false sense of security came crashing down. A nation thought to be impenatrable, had succumbed to a crack of weakness within it's strength. We were attacked without warning, bringing us to our knee's in the dead silence of our morale.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, just before 8:00 a.m., the Imperial Japanese Air Service delivered a suprise attack against the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii. The United States was a neutral country at the time; the attack led to its formal entry into WWII.
The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battle ships and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died, including civilians and another 1,000 people were wounded. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan the following day.
What began as a solution to their economic & demographic problems, Japan set to expand it's territory into China. American officials responed to the aggression towards China with sanctions and embargoes, however, this resulted in angering the Japanese ever more to take action against the U.S. Their revenge evolved into the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entrance into WWII.
This was an era of patriotism like no other; where freedoms were top priority and every man, woman and child participated in the war effort. Young men who were not old enough to join the military lied on their applications, eager to defend and sacrifice to protect our freedoms & liberties. Women for the first time took jobs in factories producing ammunition and other war materials, while children at school held fundraising drives, made items from scraps (usually to send to the soldiers) and made propaganda posters. A great era of honor, integrity & righteousness, that has slowly died and is now unfamiliar to our youth.
Today in rememberance, we honor not only those who gave their lives that day at Pearl Harbor, but also the memory which led to the rise of our great might & strength in becoming a superior nation amongst all. A reminder that evil does not prevail when good men stand for what is right. With the battle we face today, it is vital we keep pass the torch of patriotism alive through stories such as this. May the light of liberty continue to shine and may God keep this nation!
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Michelle Hazekamp is a newly elected Muskegon County Commissioner, Chair of the Communications Committee for the Muskegon County Republican Executive Committee and a Precinct Delegate.