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Pearl Harbor DayDecember 7
Officially designated as "Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day," this holiday commemorates the sacrifice of more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers and citizens killed and wounded when the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941. This event caused the United States to enter into World War II.
The Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor caught the U.S. by surprise on “a day which will live in infamy,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, thrusting the nation into a long, difficult war against tyranny.
Ending its neutrality, the U.S. declared war on Japan a day later and Nazi Germany declared war on the United States four days after. Life was never the same for Americans, or the rest of the world community.
Similarly, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the murder of a popular President caught United States citizens off-guard, leading to conflicts and turmoil and ultimately changing the political and cultural course of the nation.
Some events cause a kind of global trauma that transforms the way we think of ourselves and the world at large: the 1914 sinking of the Titanic, the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, and the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. The crash of the Hindenburg, Hurricane Katrina, the Vietnam War and the Challenger explosion were similarly made larger in scope and impact by mass media.
These events are more common and their effects are longer-lasting in the presence of newspaper headlines, radio and television broadcasts, and worldwide social media networking. The eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883 was arguably one of the most important global disasters, altering climates worldwide for the next five years, yet it took months and years for its impact to be recognized. By contrast, the effects of the political tsunami known as the "Arab Spring" in 2011 is being tracked and analyzed and cognitively digested moment-to-moment by individuals and groups throughout the world. And the consequences of such "real-time" global awareness are currently being tested for the first time.
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