Japan Wrecks Havoc
by Trystin Smith
Before The Attack
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. However, on the day before, President Roosevelt made a final appeal for peace to the Emperor of Japan. Roosevelt received no response. Later, a 14-part Japanese message was intercepted by the U.S. code-breaking service. The next morning, the last part of the intercepted message was deciphered, along with another message. The other message instructs the Japanese Embassy to "deliver the main message to the Americans" at 1 p.m. This time was early morning for Pearl Harbor. The U.S. War Department sent out an alert, but it was delayed, due to it being sent by telegraph, and it didn't arrive until four hours after the attack had begun.
I remember how caught off guard everyone was. They had said an attack wasn't imminent; we weren't on high alert. Everyone was completely oblivious to the 423 planes ready to attack. But then an explosion rattled the windows of my home. We were hit by a Japanese air raid that lasted almost two hours. The first wave had 184 planes; they used 51 dive bombers, 40 torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers, and 43 fighters. The second wave caused even more destruction. They sunk five battleships and damaged the other three. 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians were killed. The news of the attack was broadcast all over the nation. People were shocked, devastated even. The next day, the United States declared war on Japan.
A photo taken by the Japanese as torpedoes hit USS Oklahoma and USS West Virginia.
An American photo showing the USS Shaw being destroyed.
The day after the attack, salvage work had begun and smoke was still coming from the USS Arizona.
It's important that people know about this event in history, as a similar experience is never not possible. We should take away the consequences Japan faced, and the consequences we faced later on in the war. It is also important that we have learned better ways of communication, so that a life threatening situation can result in more life than death. After this day in history, and days similar, we should strive to never repeat them, but be prepared to protect our nation.