December 7th, 1941 is a date that will live in Infamy, and as we remember that fateful day 80 years ago when the nation of Japan decided to attack the United States of America at Pearl Harbor. We are reminded of the great sacrifice that took place.

Fourteen Montanans would lose their lives that day and what would happen afterward, would change the course of history forever.

What could only be described as total disbelief, the attack on our Nation was so intense and so devastating that men both young and old would run out to join the military so that they could fight for their country.

Of course, the men from Montana were no different.

Between the years 1941 and 1945, Montana produced over 75,000 soldiers for World War Two. These men, many of who had never left their hometown, would leave their homes and loved ones to go to foreign lands and put their lives on the line to serve their country.  Over 1500 would die in that service.

Pearl Harbor Attack
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On this day, I remember my Great Grandfather who served not only in World War One but served in World War Two as well. A humble man that seldom talked about himself.  I remember going and visiting him and seeing all of his medals over in the corner of his two-room apartment.  I would ask if I could play with them, and he would always say "yes you can".  I had no idea how precious they were or what he had to do in order to receive them.

He was a great man as were most from his time.

They've been called the "Greatest Generation" as folks from all over came together and sacrificed for the country they loved. They went without everyday items so that those items could be used for the war effort. Men, women, and children did their part to make sure that defeat was not an option. Let us remember them today and every day.  Let us thank them for their service and sacrifice and let us love America as much as they did and do.

Credit: Montana Senior News, Montana Military Museum

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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