Why flags are being lowered across the Tri-State
Dec. 7 marks the 81st anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The governors of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana on Tuesday ordered flags on publicly owned buildings and grounds to be flown at half-staff.
The reason? Wednesday is Dec. 7, the 81st anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
All state and U.S. flags will fly at half-staff until midnight Wednesday.
Known as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Wednesday honors those who lost their lives during the Japanese surprise attack, later judged a war crime, on the U.S. naval base located in Hawaii.
Japanese aircraft totaling 353 fighter planes and bombers launched from six aircraft carriers began the assault just before 8 a.m. local time. It was a Sunday.
Some 2,403 Americans were killed in the attack. An additional 1,178 were wounded.
All eight of the U.S. Navy battleships were damaged. Four were sunk together with three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
The Japanese lost 64 servicemembers as well as 29 aircraft and five submarines.
The attack, according to historians, was intended to prevent the U.S. from interfering in Japanese military ambitions in Southeast Asia. In the following hours, Japan also launched attacks on U.S.-held positions in the Philippines, Guam and Wake Island as well as British Empire holdings in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Instead, Pearl Harbor, famously described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy,” drew the U.S. headlong into World War II.
The U.S. officially declared war on Japan on Dec. 8. Germany, an ally of Japan, declared war on the U.S. on Dec. 11, drawing the U.S. into both Pacific and European theatres within four days of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Three of the sunk destroyers were later raised. Six of the original eight returned to service during the war that followed.
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