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Gov. Brown orders flags to half-staff on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

The attack, which prompted the United States to join World War II, happened on Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese planes surprise attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii.

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According to the U.S. Census 2,403 americans were killed. It was the greatest loss of life ever in an attack on a U.S. warship, the National Park Service says. They engaged in banter with the president during the event. By the time the U.S. Secretary of State received the intercepted message, the Pearl Harbor attack was well underway. Through the ups and downs of battles won and lives lost, the cry of "Remember Pearl Harbor!" helped maintain American resolve.

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The ceremony included the playing of Taps and a flyover of military jets.

That's why, 76 years later, it's appropriate for the nation to pause and remember Pearl Harbor - and never forget the sacrifices in a catastrophic conflict that shaped our world today.

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