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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor Remembrance

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, decades later, Pearl Harbor remains the subject of a regular flow of documentaries, dramatic productions, books and articles.