delivered on December 8, 1941
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. (Read and/or hear the entire speech here.)
The link below will quickly take you to an actual broadcast as it was interrupted by the terrible news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Also, consider this speech by Elie Wiesel on Indifference.
Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe’s beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald. He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart. He thought there never would be again. Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion. Though he did not understand their language, their eyes told him what he needed to know — that they, too, would remember, and bear witness. (link for the complete speech, both in text and audio here.)
America, and yes, the world, we cannot afford to be indifferent to crucial political and social developments as the winds of war and deceit and depravity whirl about us. Here in our beloved country comes the first elected official who opts to be sworn into office without the Holy Bible being present. We cannot ignore this pompous action, nor fail to realize its true threat. Complacency is utterly dangerous; instead, we must rally ourselves to be aware, informed, and extremely cautious. Eternally vigilant, must we be.
“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” –Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”–Edmund Burke