“A date which will live in infamy.”
Those famous words from President Franklin D. Roosevelt continue to echo as we remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, decades later. The Pennsylvania Military Museum wants to keep it that way.
81 years ago, Wednesday, the naval and air forces of the Japanese Empire launched a surprise attack on the U.S. base in Pearl Harbor.
Military veterans and their families made their way to Boalsburg on a not-so-sunny day, to honor the memory of those lost that fateful day in Hawaii.
At the Military Museum, the Marine Corps Leatherneck Detachment and the State College American Legion provided the colors, a gun salute, and played the taps to commemorate the memory of the fallen. All this, held in front of the guns of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, which was stationed at Pearl Harbor that day.
An educator from the museum, Emily Doherty, read a quote from chief gunners mate Earl Wanbaugh, a rammer on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.
“That was the strangest feeling that you could ever imagine, Sunday morning, church people going to church, we had the holiday routine and then all of a sudden, there is Japanese planes on top of you,” his quote goes. “It just wasn’t real.”
Considering the U.S. role in the ultimate allied victory in World War II, it can be hard to remember that the U.S. was hesitant to directly intervene before the Pearl Harbor attack. That’s according to the museum’s director, Tyler Gum.
“At the time, the United States was a neutral party but that neutrality was short lived. And now we were at war,”
“The attack struck at the heart of the United States Pacific fleet,” he continued. “The response from the United States was nothing short of heroic. Bringing forth an industrial workforce and fighting force never seen before.”