December 7, 2015, marks the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II. The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II is being marked throughout this year. More than 12 million Americans, men and women of the Greatest Generation, served during the course of the war. More than 400,000 of them were killed.
Ford Island in Pearl Harbor is seen in this aerial photo taken from a Japanese plane on December 7, 1941. Early that Sunday morning a surprise attack at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time by the Imperial Japanese Navy in two waves, a barrage that lasted two hours and destroyed or crippled 18 U.S. ships, destroyed nearly 300 planes, killed 2,403 servicemen and 68 civilians and wounded 1,178 others, pulling the United States into World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war the next day, which it did with just one dissenting vote. FDR proclaimed December 7th a "date which will live in Infamy."