Returning to the Sites 75 Years Later: Remembering Pearl Harbor

Greg Petralia

Seventy-five years ago, a troubled America was shocked when the territory of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japanese bombers and fighter planes, killing over 2,000 Americans and destroying a large number of United States warships. This caused the United States to enter World War II. In order to end the war, the United States dropped a bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Here we are seventy-five years later, and the leaders of the United States and the Japan have come together to commemorate the brutal actions made by our predecessors.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday, December 5th that he would visit Pearl Harbor, therefore making him the first sitting Japanese leader to go to the site of the World War II attack. According to The New York Times, he said during a televised news conference that he would travel to the American naval base with President Obama during a trip to Hawaii on December 26th and 27th. Prime Minister Abe will be returning the favor of a historic trip President Obama made in May to Hiroshima. This will also make him the first sitting president to visit the city after the bombing.

This visit will be one of the efforts by Japan to come to peace with its history in war. However, no direct apologies will be made by Mr. Abe.

“We must never repeat the horror of war,” Mr. Abe said on Monday, according to the NYT. “I want to express that determination as we look to the future, and at the same time send a message about the value of U.S.-Japanese reconciliation.”

Many American veteran groups said they appreciated Mr. Abe’s visit, regardless of an apology or not.

“The war is long over and Japan and the United States are now the strongest of allies,” said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license