National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Each year in the United States, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day honors all those who lost their lives when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 3,500 Americans lost their lives or were wounded on that solemn day.


The day marked a turn in the United States’ position regarding involvement in World War II. The Japanese attack damaged several battleships, permanently sinking both the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma. Still, others capsized, taking crew members with them. One noted ship was the USS Utah. Along with naval vessels, the attack destroyed aircraft, too. As a result, the attack forced the U.S. into a war that had been raging for two years.

The day is also sometimes referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day.


Organizations across the country honor the memory of Pearl Harbor with tributes; survivors share their stories and join in reunions. Traditionally the Flag of the United States is flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who lost their lives serving this nation at Pearl Harbor. 

Today, Pearl Harbor offers several sites in memory of those who served during the bombing. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial dedicates sites in memory of the crews lost on December 7th, 1941. For many of the crew of the USS Utah, USS Arizona, and USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor is their final resting place. The memorials serve as a place of honor to those service members lost during the attack. They also provide a moving reminder of the loss war causes. 

Use #PearlHarborRemembranceDay to post on social media.


On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress by Pub L 103-308, designated December 7th, of each year, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Pearl Harbor FAQ

Q. Why was the bombing of Pearl Harbor so pivotal?
A. Until December 7, 1941, The United States had practice isolationism with regards to the war. The country had no interest in joining the war with the exception of providing some resources for those Allied countries already battling the war. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, though, The United States had no option but to join the fray.

Q. When was Pearl Harbor built?
A. The U.S. Navy established the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor in 1908.

Q. How did Pearl Harbor get its name?
A. A variety of pearl oysters were once abundant in the harbor that Hawaiians named the harbor Wai Momi which means “Pearl Waters.”