Editor’s note: A version of this piece ran in December 2018.

Monday will mark the 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The death toll include 2,335 U.S. servicemen, 68 civilians and 65 Japanese soldiers. Approximately 1,143 American soldiers and 35 civilians were wounded.

The attack came at a critical time in U.S. history and further catalyzed the nation’s fate as a global leader during World War II and beyond.

On Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began his famous “Infamy Speech” by saying, “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

World War II veterans were part of America’s Greatest Generation. The sacrifices those military men and women made in both the war in the Pacific and in the European theater are still as vital today as they were more than nearly eight decades ago.

Their courage and bravery on distant shores protected and built upon the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy today.

The attack at Pearl Harbor challenged our nation, and we were fortunate to have those brave souls that were willing to answer that challenge.

As the years pass by, we should not let the memory of Pearl Harbor fade with time. The attack on Pearl Harbor should remind us as a nation we need to remain vigilant against all threats, foreign and domestic, and be willing to defend our nation and our freedom.

The Reporter encourages its readers to reflect on the sacrifices of those men and women who served our country, many of them giving up their lives, and not take our freedoms for granted.

Our View On the Issue is an opinion of The Reporter’s editorial board.

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