Pearl Harbor Day 2020: Photos from the Attack on the 79th Anniversary

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 marked a crucial moment in American history. The day is still remembered as one of the largest tragedies in the United States' history. Monday commemorates 79 years since the attack.

December 7 has served as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day every year since 1994. Events to commemorate those who were lost are held each year at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii.

On November 27th a warning was sent to Admiral Husband E. Kimmel that war may be on the horizon. He'd also received warnings on October 16 and November 24. Lieutenant General Walter C. Short gave orders to operate mobile radar, move fighter planes to Wheeler Field, and had an "alert against sabotage," according to Britannica.

Japanese Submarine Pearl Harbor
Two Man Japanese Submarine used at Pearl Harbour. Hulton Archive/Getty
Pearl Harbor Plane
A Nakajima B5N2 torpedo plane takes off from the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, during the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941. Silver print, 1941. VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty
Pearl Harbor USS Nevada
The USS Nevada burns following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military. Corbis/Getty
Pearl Harbor USS Oklahoma Maryland
The capsized the USS Oklahoma and the USS Maryland, were two of the ships destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Corbis/Getty

The first Japanese plane was first spotted just five minutes before 8 a.m. Almost two hundred Japanese planes attacked the base within about 15 minutes. Planes and ships were prime targets. The USS West Virginia and USS Oklahoma were both capsized during the attack, with the Oklahoma flipping entirely. The USS California and USS Utah were both sank, albeit California in shallower waters. The USS Arizona was also destroyed with a large explosion. In the second wave, which began at about 8:50 a.m. saw the USS Pennsylvania set on fire and the destroyer USS Shaw destroyed. The USS Nevada was also attacked. Confusion among the troops during the attack are shown in logs preserved by the National Archives.

The Japanese ended the attack after 9 a.m. Their losses were far less than the U.S.'s. Less than 100 of their soldiers perished in the attack. Only up to 60 Japanese planes and around five submarines were destroyed in the attack, according to Britannica.

Uss Oklahoma
The capsized the USS Oklahoma and the USS Maryland, were two of the ships destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Corbis
Pearl Harbor Fire
The ocean burns from oil near the Naval Air Station, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941. Silver print, Navy photographer, 1941. VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty
Pearl Harbor Explosion
An explosion following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hulton Archive/Getty

A remembrance in the National Archives explained that the USS Conyngham and USS Maryland were crucial in recovery and rescue efforts, saving about 30 people from the water and 25 people from Oklahoma.

On December 8, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it a day "which will live in infamy." Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the U.S.

Pearl Harbor Aircraft
A crane lifts the mangled remains of a plane, a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Corbis/Getty
Pearl Harbor Aftermath
A heap of demolished planes and a wrecked hangar at Wheeler Airfield is the result of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Corbis/Getty
FDR Pearl Harbor
President Roosevelt signs the declaration of war against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bettmann/Getty

The U.S.'s war with Japan concluded four years later in August 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to the National Park Service, 188 aircrafts were destroyed, along with the ships that sank. Most importantly, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day honors the 2,403 people who were killed in the attack as well as the 1,178 who were injured.

The theme of this year's Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is "Above and Beyond the Call" and is set to focus on Battlefield O'ahu. "The experiences of the soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and sailors defending O'ahu, as well as the civilians caught in the crossfire, would exemplify courage under fire and perseverance. Their spirit at the beginning of the long crucible of war would frame the template for the securing of victory and peace," the National Park Service said on its website.

Pearl Harbor Pin
A vintage pin commemorating those lost in Pearl Harbor David J. & Janice L. Frent/Corbis