“A day that will live in infamy,” Roosevelt did declare,
speaking of the atrocity and the souls who perished there.
Young men forever silenced, their laughter heard no more
on the day the Arizona sunk down to the ocean floor.
On that day many years ago, terror came from up high
as squadrons launched their bombs in that early morning sky.
And came they on their targets in the harbor far below,
and left not ’til ships were sinking in the watery shallows.
Black smoke billowed upwards and blocked out clear blue dawn
flaming oil fanned out on waves, burning men that morn.
For some who tried to swim away, the enemy did lack
any compassion whatsoever, and shot them in the back.
Eleven hundred lives were lost, that day so long ago;
what kind of men they might become, of that we’ll never know.
For most were young, in Spring of life, and destined thus to stay,
sent into immortality that awful murderous day.
Their names are etched upon the wall, their sacrifice to see,
those who perished on the land, on ships, or in the sea.
And in the hearts of those who knew the face behind each name,
the sorrow vents its memories as each year comes again.
The survivors now are grey and bent, their eyes grow ever dim,
their memories are painful, a poignant human hymn.
And as with other heroes, these too must honored be,
because they and countless others died that we might live life free.