HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor.
The attack crippled the US Pacific fleet and killed approximately 2,400 service members, including 1,177 aboard the USS Arizona.
Addressing Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the action "unprovoked" and "dastardly."
In stating that America was now at war, President Roosevelt concluded "with confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God."
Those words would be born out by history.
Seventy-four years later, that history is being preserved at places like the US Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville.
Randy Withrow is the museum director. He says, "what we're trying to do is get the younger generation, at least to realize, what Pearl Harbor was because they don't know."
Those who visit the museum's Pearl Harbor exhibit can see a model representing Pearl Harbor and a copy of the naval message to all area ships stating "this is no drill."
There is also a weapon that military records show was at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack.
Such exhibits take on even greater significance as more and more World War II veterans pass away. Withrow says, "we don't need them to be forgotten. We need them to be remembered for what they did for us."
In addition to the Pearl Harbor display, the museum houses more than 30 historical military vehicles from World War I to the present. There are also artifacts and other memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War.
If you'd like to see any of this for yourself, the museum is located at 2060A Airport Road in Huntsville. It's open Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.
Admission is a $5 donation for adults. Seniors are $4. Students under 18 are $3. Active duty in uniform and guests are free.
Group tours are available.