On 8 December, Vice Admiral William F. Halsey brought his Enterprise task force into Pearl Harbor, where the enormity of the destruction shocked all hands. Halsey’s comment, “Before we’re through with ’em, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!”, probably represented a universal feeling, not just in the Fleet, but in virtually the entire Nation.
(From this excellent page.)
Of the hundreds of Americans who died that day, let us at least remember one of them by name today. This is the Medal of Honor citation of Chief Radioman Thomas James Reeves:
For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese Forces on 7 December 1941. After the mechanized ammunition hoists were put out of action in the U.S.S. California, REEVES, on his own initiative, in a burning passageway, assisted in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he was overcome by smoke and fire, which resulted in his death.
Chief Radioman Reeves, like most Americans, had no idea that a war was going to start that morning. He responded to the violence coming out of a clear blue sky with courage and focus on the necessary task.
Remember him and all the others who died fighting against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan with gratitude. It was not a “good war”, but it was a hard and necessary war.
Remember Pearl Harbor.
God Bless America.