President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation after the Japanese sneak attack at our naval base at Pearl Harbor:
Yesterday, December 7th, 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. . . .
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
FDR's steely determination to defend America and our way of life rallied the nation. Roosevelt and the nation did not shy away from confronting the enemy and treating war as war. Soon the war would be fought and expanded across the entire globe, with the survival of freedom literally at stake. In four years Japan and Germany would be brought to their knees by the resolve, blood, and treasure of the America.
Today we should honor those brave men and women who laid down their lives so that we might be free. And let us not stain their sacrifice by blithely losing our freedoms and liberties to ignorance and disdain for our founding First Principles. Unfortunately, we are on the brink of doing just that. Its time to put first things first, including knowing our history and Constitution, and making sure that our children and grandchildren will live up in the free country the "greatest generation" fought for.