Millions of individuals have lost their lives and property destroyed as a result of wars. As much as governments across the globe try to avert the chances of any conflicts happening in the modern day, there is always that fear that someday a war far much worse than World War I and II may erupt. Thus, the essay focuses on the Pearl Harbor disaster that claimed several American lives and destroyed property worth millions. The topic is relatively exciting and is argued to be the reason why the U.S. joined World War II.
In the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked Pearl Harbor bombing the U.S. battles ships (Berger 18). Berger (19) explains that the impromptu attack caught off-guard more than 1000 U.S. sailors aboard the vessels. He tells that the bombs that targeted Arizona’s (American warship) ammunition room caused significant damage due to the explosion that it created. Berger (19) explains that the Japanese warplanes attacked in two waves that took two hours. At the end of that period, approximately 2400 people were killed. The attacked was meant to force the U.S. to end an embargo that it had put on Japan cutting 90% of its oil (Berger 18). Instead, it led to the declaration of war on Japan and all its allies by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Berger 20). Consequently, the U.S under President Harry S. Truman dropped atomic bombs in Japan during the World War II in 1945.
Various sources provide accounts of what might have led to the U.S. soldiers to be caught off-guard. Burtness & Ober (740) reveals that three days before the Pearl Harbor attack, classified military plans were stolen. The source of the leak is still unidentified to date (Burtness & Ober 740). A multitude of questions still lingers in the minds of American citizens about the events leading to the Pearl Harbor disaster. Following the attack, the people were angered by the fact that the Japanese could attack their country without their intelligence having prior knowledge of the impending danger. They demanded that the admirals in charge of Pearl Harbor be held accountable for the attack (Burtness & Ober 741).
However, in the wake of all the animosity experienced as a result of the Pearl Harbor disaster, the U.S. and Japan have over the years focused on rebuilding their relationship. As much as the horrors of both the Pearl Harbor Atomic bomb attacks still linger in the minds of both the Japanese and the Americans; the people have learned to move forward and live in harmony. The “Pearl Harbor” (3) reveals that in 2016, the Japanese Prime Minister offered condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in the Pearl Harbor disaster. The function that was also graced by the then U.S. President Barrack Obama was meant to show the extent to which the U.S-Japanese relationship had evolved over the years. It is also significant to note that Barrack Obama was the first sitting American President ever to visit Hiroshima, the site affected by the atomic bomb attacks (“Pearl Harbor” 3). In his speech, the Japanese Prime Minister made it clear that such horrors should never be repeated (“We Must Never Repeat the Horrors” 48). The Prime minister then went ahead to vow to work with principle towards continued cooperation with the U.S., a country that they had previously fought vehemently.
In conclusion, it is evident that the Pearl Harbor disaster was a calamity whose ripple effects were severe, especially on Japan as a whole. However, it is also true that the two countries have learned to move past their bitter past and work together towards promoting world peace. Thus, the Pearl Harbor disaster should remind us of the need to seek alternative means of dispute resolution rather than engaging in wars that will lead to the loss of human lives.
Berger, Joseph. Pearl Harbor: From ‘Infamy’ to Friendship. New York Times Upfront, 2016; 18- 21.
Burtness, Paul S. & Ober, Warren U. Communication Lapses Leading to the Pearl Harbor Disaster. The Historian, 2013; 740-758.
Pearl Harbor. Chinese American Forum, 2017; 3-5
We Must Never Repeat the Horrors of War Again. Vital Speech of the Day, 2016; 47-49.