“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” Those are the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Those words will be eternally repeated when discussing the topic of Pearl Harbor. The words contained in this speech show his utter disdain pertaining to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The purpose of President Roosevelt’s “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation” was to educate the nation on what had happened on December 7th. He also wanted to justify his reasons for needing to go to war with the Empire of Japan. Each and every word in this distinguished speech played on the emotions of the american people, and it provided significant support for his purpose.
The powerful words Roosevelt used in the address gave strong support that grabbed the American peoples’ attention, and. One convincing statement he makes was when he said, “The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Roosevelt wanted to be sure that the congress and the nation knew the facts behind the tragedy. In that short statement he informs the people that he had no idea that the attack was coming, in his words the attack came suddenly.
He also tries to explain Americas relationship with Japan before the attack in this section, “The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.” That showed the American people what events had taken place prior to the disaster at Pearl Harbor. He wanted the people to know that he was under the impression that the two nations were at peace, and that they were nowhere near a state of war.
Another purpose for the address was that Roosevelt wanted to justify going to war with the Empire of Japan. One such section of the speech was when Roosevelt said, “The distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace”. Roosevelt tried to make his audience feel appalled by the actions of Japan in that excerpt. He wanted to show the audience that Japan was deliberately misleading the American People into having them believe that all they wanted was to make an effort for peace, when at the same time they were preparing for war.
In the speech addressing the nation he stated that after the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor they did not stop their. They continued on to attack neighboring countries and city-states. He tried to convince the audience that not only the lives of the American people were at stake but the lives of surrounding countries that may not be able to defend themselves. “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory”, through this passage the president wanted to reassure his audience that if they did in fact go to war the end result would be that America will obtain absolute victory.
The President not only wanted to educate the American people on the events that occurred, but he also wanted to reassure them if they did in fact go to war, they would come out victorious. Roosevelt’s striking words helped a nation recover from one of the greatest tragedies in the nation’s history. Roosevelt believed that through his words the nation would hold their ground and beat back any enemy that would come their way.