Americans are taking the time on Saturday to mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on American soil at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which killed more than 2,400 people.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft descended over Pearl Harbor around 7:50 a.m. Within two hours, 2,403 people were killed, and 18 ships either suffered damage or sank entirely, and 180 aircraft were completely destroyed.
According to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau, 2,403 died in the attacks, including 2,008 from the Navy, 218 from the Army, 109 Marines, and 68 civilians. The attack was considered to be the deadliest attack on U.S. soil until 9/11.
Of the dead, 1,177 were on the USS Arizona, the wreckage of the ship which now serves as a memorial to all those who died in the attacks. Fifty-five Japanese also died that day.
There were also 1,143 wounded in the attacks, including 710 Navy, 364 Army, 69 Marines, and 103 civilians.
The raid on the major U.S. naval base near Honolulu was the catalyst for bringing the U.S. into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.”
The Japanese eventually surrendered after the U.S. used nuclear weapons to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945, and August 9, 1945, consecutively.
Congress designated December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on August 23, 1994, according to the National Park Service.
All American flags should be lowered to half-staff at sunrise and raised at sunset to commemorate the anniversary.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the U.S. Navy, and the National Park Service will all host the 78th annual National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemoration ceremony to honor those who lost their lives at 7:50 a.m. on Saturday.