That was how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described Dec. 7, 1941, as he one day later asked Congress to declare war against the Empire of Japan.
In a surprise attack that began at 7:48 a.m. that sunny Sunday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japan killed 2,403 Americans; wounded 1,178 others; sank four U.S. Navy battleships; destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft; and sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, one minelayer, and an anti-aircraft training ship.
America would never be the same.
Shortly after Roosevelt's Dec. 8 speech, Congress voted to launch the U.S. into World War II, a conflict that forever changed how Americans saw themselves and the world outside their borders.
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day marks the lives lost Dec. 7, 1941, and honors those who survived the attack.