Pearl Harbor Day 2011: 70th Anniversary Remembered (PHOTOS)
70 years ago today, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The aerial attacks were carried out by 353 Japanese fighters, and killed 2,402 Americans. Described as "a day which will live in infamy" by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dec. 7 marked the entrance of the United States into World War II and one of the darkest days in American history.
In an official statement, President Barack Obama honored the memory of those who served on that day. "We salute the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who inspire us still," he said. "Despite overwhelming odds, they fought back heroically, inspiring our nation and putting us on the path to victory."
Below are historic photos of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, as well as depictions of how Americans have memorialized the day in recent years.
USS West Virginia
This photo, from December 7, 1941, shows the USS West Virginia in flames after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
US Pacific Fleet
This photo shows the massive impact of the surprise attack, which destroyed the United States Pacific Fleet. The attack was conducted by 360 Japanese warplanes.
Naval Air Station
Members of the U.S. military stand near airplane wreckage during the surprise Japanese aerial attack at the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii December 7, 1941. December 7, 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in which over 2,400 members of the United States military were killed. Picture taken December 7, 1941.
The USS Arizona, pictured here, sunk after being bombed. 1,177 servicemembers on board were killed.
The USS California burns after being hit by a 500-pound bomb and a torpedo during the aerial attack.
Three bombs hit the USS Shaw during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor.
USS Arizona Memorial
Vice Admiral Michael Vitale, pictured here on December 7, 2010, stops for a moment at the USS Arizona memorial during a remembrance service.
Lone Sailor Statue
A wreath was placed on the Lone Sailor statue at the Naval Memorial in Washington, DC on December 7, 2003.
The Healing Field
A family looks out on the Healing Field at the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii on December 7, 2007. The "field" features 2,500 flags.
Survivor Carl LaBarre
Carl LaBarre, who survived the attacks on the USS California, is pictured here at a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery in 2001.
A U.S. Marine firing detail prepares for a memorial service for the 70th anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu on December 7, 2011in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On the morning of December 7, 1941 a surprise military attack was conducted by aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy against the U.S. Pacific Fleet being moored in Pearl Harbor, marking the entry of the U.S. in World War II. More than 2,400 people were killed and thousands wounded, with dozens of Navy vessels either sunk or destroyed. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)