Proclamation 8327 of December 5, 2008
Establishment of the World War II Valor In the Pacific
By the President of the United States of America
Beginning at Pearl Harbor with the day of infamy that saw the sinking of
the USS ARIZONA and ending on the deck of the USS MISSOURI in
Tokyo Bay, many of the key battles of World War II were waged on and
near American shores and throughout the Pacific. We must always remem-
ber the debt we owe to the members of the Greatest Generation for our lib-
erty. Their gift is an enduring peace that transformed enemies into steadfast
allies in the cause of democracy and freedom around the globe.
Americans will never forget the harrowing sacrifices made in the Pacific by
soldiers and civilians that began at dawn on December 7, 1941, at Pearl
Harbor on the island of Oahu. The surprise attack killed more than 2,000
American military personnel and dozens of civilians and thrust the United
States fully into World War II.
America responded and mobilized our forces to fight side-by-side with our
allies in the European, Atlantic, and Pacific theaters. The United States
Navy engaged in epic sea battles, such as Midway, and our Armed Forces
fought extraordinary land battles for the possession of occupied islands.
These battles led to significant loss of life for both sides, as well as for the
island’s native peoples. Battlegrounds such as Guadalcanal, Tarawa,
Saipan, Guam, Peleliu, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa are remem-
bered for the heroic sacrifices and valor displayed there.
The conflict raged as far north as the Alaskan territory. The United States
ultimately won the encounter in the Aleutian Island chain but not without
protracted and costly battles.
There were also sacrifices on the home front. Tens of millions of Ameri-
cans rallied to support the war effort, often at great personal cost. Men and
women of all backgrounds were called upon as industrial workers, volun-
teers, and civil se