“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”
80 Years have passed since the day the Imperial Japanese made their surprise push in the Pacific to assert control. Their gamble failed and brought the United States into the war as a combatant. We would take back the Pacific, island by island, as we simultaneously began to support the ground war in Europe against the rest of the Axis. Taking on Italy, Germany, and Japan in Africa and Europe.
We would also see the atrocities of the Imperial Japanese and the Nazi regime against the people the conquered as they tried to shape the world into their perfect ‘imagened’ versions of humanity.
They were pushed back and eventually crushed by the combined Allied forces, even as the threat of the Soviets loomed in the future, the darkest threat of the Imperial Japanese forces and the Nazi regime were pushed to total defeat. The Nazi’s surrendering after they lost Berlin and the Japanese after the United States dropped the 2nd Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, proving that the Allies didn’t need to land a single troop upon the shore to utterly annihilate the remaining forces and that after the vicious campaign the Allies had fought, they were done waiting.
I personally believe that the sudden nature of the attack 80 years ago today, combined with the atrocious Japanese conduct during the war, made the decision to use both bombs in the end. A ground campaign on the island would likely have killed far more Japanese, prolonged the war, and resulted in upwards of 1,000,000 Allied dead too.
Instead, two swift unanswerable blows brought the Empire to unconditional surrender after holding the previous stance where they would have held to the last as they had on islands throughout the campaign.