Phoenix: Remembering Pearl Harbor

Battleship USS Arizona hit.


Battleship USS Arizona hit.

Liam Thomson, Staff Writer

Many people are familiar with the phoenix creature, a sunbird with red wings, gloriously rising out of its own ashes to start anew. The metaphor has been used as propaganda and an icon throughout literature and media, but application to one specific event in our past is unheard of.

“A date which will live in infamy . . . the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Empire of Japan,” said President Franklin Roosevelt.

The course of history and warfare was changed forever with Roosevelt’s speech condemning what had preceded; those prior moments described have left an impact too powerful for conception on America and humanity itself.

At about eight o’clock in the morning, Dec. 7, 1941, a swarm of Japanese planes fly over the Hawaiian island of Oahu. They’re on a mission that will initiate one of the most devastating conflicts in our nation’s history.

Their target: a military outpost just shy of Honolulu, now known as Pearl Harbor.

At 8:10 a.m., the war-broking bomb drops straight into the hull of prized battleship USS Arizona. She goes down, and 1,100 lives are lost.

Up until then, most Americans were unaware of the attack, sure that it was just a training exercise.Even after it was revealed to the public, the bombing run became a massacre.

Almost every ship at Pearl Harbor was damaged or sunk, and hundreds of aircraft destroyed. Compared to the 64 Japanese pilots shot down, 2,403 American people were killed, many of which were innocent civilians.

With this attack, some could say the phoenix rebirthed. America was standing up for itself after a surprise attack and would go on to win World War II; however, thousands upon thousands of soldiers, pilots, sailors, medics, and other personnel died for this country- a heavy price to pay for victory. This is the reason we should remember Pearl Harbor: brave citizens died for us, some of them knowingly sealing their fate, but they still fought on despite the consequences.

They fought on, knowing that the phoenix truly died.