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Flags lowered in remembrance of Pearl Harbor

Dec. 6, 2010

LANSING, Mich.--By order of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. flags on all campuses of Western Michigan University and throughout Michigan will be lowered Tuesday in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor 69 years ago, Dec. 7, 1941.

Photo of the battleship Arizona in flames at Pearl Harbor.The surprise Sunday morning attack on Hawaii claimed the lives of 2,334 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen and wounded another 1,143. The following day, Dec. 8, before a joint session of Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for a formal declaration of war against Japan.

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” said Roosevelt.

The declaration of war against Japan passed by a vote of 470-1. Three days later, Dec. 11, the United States also formally declared war on Germany and Italy.

What had been separate wars in Europe and China, became World War II, which led to the immergence of the United States as a global power, hastened the end of colonial rule in Africa and Asia, and directly shaped world events for the rest of the 20th century and beyond. For all of those reasons, Dec. 7, 1941, is widely considered the pivotal date of the 20th century, and has been called “the day that changed the world.”

Michigan has lowered flags on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor annually since 2005.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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