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Includes 3 charts, 7 tables and 137 photos
December 7, 1941, was by any assessment a devastating day. The Hawaiian Air Force suffered a crippling blow, but the genesis of recovery and final victory over the enemy emerged in the valor of those who weathered the onslaught and fought back with everything they had.
In the 50 years since then, the attack has become a faded memory for some and to many members of the younger generation just another moment in history. It deserves better understanding and commemoration, however, for this sudden, damaging strike on our forces marked the beginning of America's involvement in a terrible global war that was massive in scope and destruction.
At Hickam Air Force Base, reminders of the attack are still visible. The tattered flag that flew over the base that fateful morning is encased and on display in the lobby of the Pacific Air Forces Headquarters building, where bullet-scarred walls serve as a constant reminder to never again be caught unprepared. Memorial tablets surrounding the base flagpole pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our country.
Our predecessors, with their blood and sweat, boldly wrote a major chapter of our military history. We must never forget their story and the legacy of their experience--that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and readiness.