Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Remembrance of "a Date which will live in Infamy"



The Pearl Harbor attack entered the consciousness of contemporary Americans more forcefully than any other single event. Regarded as a dastardly "surprise attack" and an act of "infamy", during the Second World War every effort was made to keep its memory bright. Posters, popular songs and other media were staples of wartime popular culture, regular memorial services were held to commemorate the dead, and flags that had flown at the Capitol and White House on 7 December 1941 were raised over fallen enemy capital cities.

Even after the conflict ended, the Pearl Harbor "surprise" helped shape a generation of National defense policy and was not forgotten by those who had lived through the war. Monuments, large and small, were erected on the battle sites. Around the country, veterans' reunion groups met regularly to keep the memory alive. Even now, some six decades later, Pearl Harbor remains the subject of a regular flow of documentaries, dramatic productions, books and articles.

This page features views related to the remembrance of the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

For other images of the memorialization of the Pearl Harbor raid

Additional pictorial coverage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor


Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: NH 72273-KN (Color)

"Remember Dec. 7th!"

Poster designed by Allen Saalburg, issued by the Office of War Information, Washington, D.C., in 1942, in remembrance of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
The poster also features a quotation from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: "... we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ...".

Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Center. Donation of Dr. Robert L. Scheina, 1970.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 520 x 765

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-13328 (Color)

"Farewell to Thee"

Following Hawaiian tradition, Sailors honor men killed during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Naval Air Station Kaneohe, Oahu. The casualties had been buried on 8 December. This ceremony took place sometime during the following months, possibly on Memorial Day, 31 May 1942.
See Photo # 80-G-32854 for a photograph of the 8 December 1941 burial ceremonies.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 133KB; 740 x 555

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: USA C-799 (Color)

Liberation of Rome, June 1944

Crowds attend a retreat ceremony, in which the American flag that flew over the White House on 7 December 1941 was raised over the Victor Emmanuel II Monument in Rome, circa early June 1944. The monument is in the right background.
Building at left bears a sign reading "Rome Area Command".

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection, National Archives.

Online Image: 124KB; 490 x 765

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: USA C-4724 (Color)

Army Day Ceremonies, 6 April 1948

The U.S. flag which flew over the U.S. Capitol at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack is returned to the Capitol during Army Day ceremonies. This flag had been raised over the three defeated Axis capital cities, Rome, Berlin and Tokyo.
In this photo, men of the Third Infantry Division, all World War II veterans, are presenting the flag at the Capitol Plaza, Washington, D.C. It is being accepted by Senator Arthur Vandenberg.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection, National Archives.

Online Image: 131KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: USN 1148754

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Photographic montage prepared for the 30th anniversary of the attack, 7 December 1971. It is accompanied by a poem by JO3 Jim Deken, USN, as presented in Photo # USN 1148754 (complete caption).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 121KB; 615 x 765

National Archives Photo # 428-N-1148754.

 
Photo #: NH 83439-KN (Color)

USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Association

Patch commemorating the Association's 1973 twin reunions at Anaheim, California, and Newport, Rhode Island.
Colors & symbolism: Background - Gray - for the smoke of the attack; Maryland (background ship) - Pearl Gray for Pearl Harbor; Border rings and upper inscriptions - Scarlet - USS Oklahoma's colors were scarlet & white; Blue - Waters of Pearl Harbor and lower inscription; Brown - bottom of the capsized Oklahoma; Oil on the water - Black - for the infamous deed; White caps on the water - White.
"32 came back" was the theme of the reunions, commemorating the trapped crewmen rescued from inside the capsized battleship.

Donation of Gerald E. Foreman, 1975.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 139KB; 740 x 610

 
Photo #: USN 1067058

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii


The marble northwestern interior wall of the memorial, with the names of the men lost with USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
Photographed by PH2 Thomas on 24 January 1963.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 605

National Archives photographic reproduction system as Photo # 428-N-1067058.

 
Photo #: NH 100928

Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii


Memorial to the eighteen Navy men and one civilian killed in the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack on NAS Kanoehe Bay. Naval personnel who lost their lives were members of the station crew and of Patrol Squadrons 11, 12 and 14. The monument was erected at Marine Corps Air Station Kanoehe Bay in December 1981.
Photographed 4 May 1986 by H.E.("Ed") Coffer.

Donation of H.E. Coffer, 1986.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 100KB; 510 x 765

 
Photo #: NH 97460-KN (Color)

Captain Donald Kirby Ross, USN (Retired)

Speaking at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1991, during ceremonies marking the 50th Anniversary of the Japanese air raid there.
Captain Ross is wearing the Medal of Honor he received for heroism while serving on board USS Nevada (BB-36) during the attack.
Photographed by PHC Chet King

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 60KB; 740 x 530

 
Photo #: NH 97467-KN (Color)

Captain Donald Kirby Ross, USN (Retired)

Leads the audience in singing "God Bless America", during the dedication of the USS Nevada Memorial at Hospital Point, Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1991. The ceremony was part of an observance commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Japanese raid there.
Captain Ross is wearing the Medal of Honor he received for heroism while serving on board USS Nevada (BB-36) during the attack.
Photographed by PHC Carolyn Harris

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 510

 


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