Awakening a Sleeping Giant

Sixty-nine years ago today, Japanese carrier-based planes attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor.

Americans remember the date as the start of World War II, but the war in Europe had started more than two years earlier, when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Even before that, the signs of impending war were impossible to miss. In the Pacific, Japan had been fighting in China since 1937.

But to Americans, December 7, 1941 remains the “date which will live in infamy.”

Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the attack, supposedly said, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

He got that right.

For good or ill, the world we live in today was born the day Japan awakened the American giant.

The Denver Post has a collection of little-seen photos from the Pacific war.

Rescue during Pearl Harbor attack