Saturday will mark the 72nd anniversary of one of the darkest days in America’s history — the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack came just before 8 a.m. and struck the American Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, Hawaii. In minutes a picture-perfect paradise became every solider’s nightmare.

Saturday will mark the 72nd anniversary of one of the darkest days in America’s history — the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack came just before 8 a.m. and struck the American Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, Hawaii. In minutes a picture-perfect paradise became every solider’s nightmare.


The history books, and History.com, show that the Japanese were able to destroy or damage 20 American ships including eight battleships and approximately 200 planes. More than 2,000 American military heroes died that day and more than 1,000 more were hurt.


On Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the nation’s leaders to declare war on Japan bringing America into World War II. The war claimed thousands of additional American military personnel before it ended in 1945. The attack that many say Japan had intended to cause America to lift economic sanctions actually caused Americans to rally for entering the war and for pushing through to the end. Women went to work in factories so men could go to war, and Rosie the Riveter was born. Suddenly middle class women found their presence needed outside of their homes. While many women returned to their traditional jobs of mother and wife after the war, some did not and today’s working woman probably owes something to Rosie and her friends.


For more than 50 years, survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack returned, in groups, to Hawaii to commemorate the day they will never forget. Then in 2011, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association disbanded due to an overall decline in its membership’s health and their decreased ability to travel.


Still the PHSA’s website proudly proclaims, "Eternal vigilance is the price of peace."


The men who fought that day in Pearl Harbor paid a great price for the freedom we all enjoy today. They were not the first to pay it or the last, but pay it they did. So tomorrow we’ll take a moment to pause and think of them and everything they did so that we could continue to enjoy the freedoms we think of as essential in America.


Happy birthday Friday to Dottie McClure, Lucille Shelton, the Rev. James Thorne and Lowell Hennen, all of Denison; Kathi Moore, Jerry Duty, Amyah Hunter, Ruby Mae Ford and Jalashua Brown, all of Sherman.


Happy anniversary Friday to Howard and Bobbie Moore of Van Alstyne, 55 years.


Happy birthday Saturday to David Ball of Pottsboro; Ken Kelley, Melissa McKee and twins Rachelle Ponder and Mike Hill, all of Denison; Debbie Neely of Whitesboro; Hailand Albert Stresing of Spartanburg, S.C.; Larry Cecil Williams, Christopher Hollis, Kathy Neal, Tommy Neal, Margaret Reynall, Jean Miller, John Bullard IV and Gary Cantrell, all of Sherman.