December 7, 1941 Canada Declares War

December 7, 2011 by staff 

December 7, 1941 Canada Declares War, Seventy years after Pearl Harbor, the wreck of the Arizona, the giant battleship sunk by Japanese warplanes, still leaks oil, evoking for some the tears of the thousand sailors who went down with their ship on that day of “infamy.”

On December 7, 1941 at dawn, Japan awakened the American “sleeping giant,” bombing the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Hawaii. In two hours, some 20 ships were sunk or damaged and 164 planes destroyed.

Denouncing “a date which will live in infamy,” president Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan, changing the course of World War II at a time when many of his countrymen had hoped to escape the conflict.

Of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor, nearly half, exactly 1,177, were killed in a matter of seconds aboard the Arizona, when a bomb detonated the ship’s munitions depot, igniting a conflagration that burned for three days.

Today, the wreck is still visible, one of its rusty turrets rising above the surface, flying an American flag. Every day, hundreds of visitors view it from a bridge-like memorial built over the wreck.

“It’s a huge piece of history. It’s very powerful,” said Gord Woodward, a Canadian tourist, as he looked down on the memorial on what is officially designated a war grave.

What never fails to impress tourists are the drops of oil that rise to the surface every 20 to 30 seconds.

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