Bush Establishes Pacific Theater Monument, Honors Pearl Harbor Anniversary
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2008 President George W. Bush signed proclamations today establishing a World War II monument to those who fought in the Pacific theater and commemorating the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices “The Greatest Generation” made to protect the country, Bush said before signing the proclamation.
“But there’s a broader purpose, as well,” he said. “And that is to remind generations of Americans about the transformative effect of freedom.
“One of the great stories during World War II was that people fought bitterly to defend our country and way of life, and then worked to help our enemies develop democracies according to their own cultures and their own history,” Bush continued. “Today, I am so pleased to report that Japan is a strong ally of the United States.”
The monument will include nine sites: five in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor area, three in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and one in northern California to honor Japanese-Americans who were held in internment at the Tule Lake Segregation Center National Historic Landmark and nearby Camp Tule Lake. The proclamation names the National Park Service as the general administrator of the monument.
On Dec. 7, the United States will mark the 67th anniversary of the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said “will live in infamy.”
More than 2,000 servicemembers and many civilians were killed when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack marked the United States’ official entrance into World War II, and those serving in uniform sent a clear message to America’s enemies, Bush said today in a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day proclamation: “If you attack this country and harm our people, there is no corner of the Earth remote enough to protect you from the reach of our nation’s armed forces.
“On this anniversary, we honor the heroes who risked and lost their lives for our security and freedom,” Bush said in the proclamation. “Their selfless dedication exemplifies the great character of America and continues to inspire our nation.”
The proclamation encourages flying the American flag at half staff Dec. 7 in honor of those who died as a result of service at Pearl Harbor.