Pacific Historic Parks
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Legacy of Hope
December 7, 2023
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, marked a pivotal moment in world history. Our nation joined the free people of the world in battle against the forces of tyranny that sought to enslave the masses and impose a new world order of blind hatred and oppression.
The long struggle that ensued came to a merciful end on September 2, 1945. As the guns went silent the world awoke to a new reality. The destructive potential of nations at arms had been realized on a scale never before seen and left our world scarred and broken. In the fall of 1945, the bitter and costly work of war was over, and now the hard work of peace had begun; a peace that could only be realized if former foes could become allies and the price of war too costly.
The wreckage of the USS Arizona remains as a monument to the events of World War II and to the legacy of those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our most cherished values and secure victory. The sculpture of the Tree of Life, chiseled in the side of the USS Arizona Memorial reminds us that the ultimate prize of victory was not just the cessation of arms, but an expression of hope for the realization of a lasting peace.
In 1941, our nation “Remembered Pearl Harbor” in order to defeat a determined foe. Now we remember to embrace, not just the victory of arms but the promise of a renewed commitment to that hope, that our generation, and the generations to follow will always honor the sacrifice of our veterans by tirelessly striving to maintain and cherish the legacy of hope.