Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation
Delivered 8 December 1941, Washington, D.C.

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.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.1

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Remember Our Active Duty Service Men and Women This Holiday Season

December 4, 2017

As the holiday season approaches, let us not forget we have thousands of U.S. service members that are still in harm’s way and deployed away from friends and family.

While we often feel we have enough on our hands just taking care of ourselves; reaching out and helping someone else can really change a person’s perspective. I encourage all of you to send a card, a handwritten note, or a care package to someone that is deployed. In addition, invite military families to partake in your holiday activities, and ask if you can assist them in preparing for the holidays.

Many military families find themselves having to redefine the word “family” as their loved ones are often stationed far from home. Military children cope with so much: new schools, changing neighborhoods, friends who move, and deployed parents. A holiday full of laughter, shared and newly created memories would be a precious gift.

Charles Dickens said, “I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

It doesn’t matter if you are reflecting on Christmas past, present, or future; the one commonality is traditions.  It’s the magic and the love that we’ll always remember.

While I wouldn’t trade Christmas at home with my family and friends, I will forever fondly recall my Christmas spent overseas. Sharing the holidays with my military family, gorging myself on food, improvised holiday decorations, and unique holiday shenanigans. You learn to make the most of deployments – you remember that you signed the contract to protect those around you and you realize very quickly that it’s worth it to have to miss out on some holidays.

Spending the holidays apart is hard, but sharing traditions whenever possible can create special memories for everyone.

We wish you and your family a blessed holiday season and a new year of peace and happiness. As you and your family gather this holiday season, please keep our heroes (past, present, and future) in your hearts. God bless our veterans, their families, and our troops that are currently serving in harm’s way.

Larry Zimmerman, Secretary

South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

Akicita Isnala Najin “Soldier Who Stands Alone”


By Governor Dennis Daugaard
November 9, 2017

Sixty-nine years ago, a young man named Philip left his home in South Dakota to serve his country. Philip J. Iyotte was a Rosebud Sioux Tribe member who lived in White River and became a sergeant in the 8th Army and a member of Company E’s 21st Infantry Regiment and 24th Infantry Division.

Sgt. Iyotte’s battalion was one of the first sent into battle at the commencement of the Korean War. The sergeant was first wounded in 1950, but returned to the front lines less than three weeks later.

While fighting in Operation Thunderbolt on Feb. 9, 1951, Iyotte was taken by Chinese forces and was later moved to a camp at Changsong. Fellow prisoners of war have said that though Iyotte was wounded while in captivity and could not walk, he sang the Lakota honor song for his fellow soldiers. Iyotte is believed to have passed away after seven months in captivity. He was 21 years old.

Sgt. Iyotte’s story is fresh upon many of our minds, as he was finally brought home and laid to rest just a few weeks ago. Over these many years, Philip’s family never gave up on their efforts to find him. They kept hope and they endured in their work to bring him home. Upon his return, South Dakotans of all ages and walks of life honored this family’s devotion and the sergeant’s sacrifices by lining the streets for the procession and packing the White River gymnasium for the memorial ceremony.

This Veterans Day, I’m reminded of the immense sacrifice Sgt. Iyotte made at such a young age, and also of the price so many have paid to keep us free – some of whom were taken prisoner and never made it home. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 82,000 Americans who served in conflicts dating back to World War II are still unaccounted for. The agency estimates that three-quarters of the missing are within the Asia-Pacific and half were lost at sea.

Thousands of families throughout the nation are still without answers. For them, questions still exist – how loved ones lost their lives or where they are buried. I hope you will keep those families in your prayers this Veterans Day, and remember the POW/MIAs who never made it home. I hope you will also take time to thank the veterans in your life for keeping us free.

I am told Sgt. Iyotte’s Lakota name was “Akicita Isnala Najin,” which translates to “Soldier Who Stands Alone.” But since the day he was finally brought home and laid to rest, the name is no longer fitting. Philip no longer stands alone, and no veteran should.

Thank You Veterans

By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
November 3, 2017

The men and women who wear the uniform of the United States make incredible sacrifices for us, and every year on November 11 we pay tribute to them and all they have done to defend our freedoms. Veterans Day is a reminder to all of us to thank those who have bravely answered the call to serve.

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I have been working on proposals to improve the quality of life for South Dakota veterans. Our committee has had a productive year, and is looking forward to making even more reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the future. We were happy to see the president sign the Veterans Educational Assistance Act into law in August, after it passed out of the Senate with strong bipartisan support. This bill makes much-needed updates to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, especially for veterans wanting to pursue an education once they enter civilian life.

It included a few measures that I introduced, one of which is a provision to add all Purple Heart recipients—regardless of length of time spent on active duty—to the list of eligible veterans who can access full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.  Another included provision will allow for more flexibility in transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members of deceased service members. The Veterans Educational Assistance Act will allow more veterans and their surviving family members to pursue educational opportunities to set them up for good-paying careers in a competitive job market.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under Secretary David Shulkin, has been working to fix the problems plaguing the agency over the past years. While there is still work to be done to improve veteran care, Secretary Shulkin has been committed to the cause and is working to streamline the agency he leads. Recently, the VA proposed its CARE proposal—their vision of the future program to provide care in the community for veterans. I look forward to working with the VA and my colleagues on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to improve care in the community for veterans.

Also this year, the VA announced it would comply with the Emergency Care Fairness Act (ECFA). This is a huge victory for the nearly 600,000 veterans who have been waiting for the VA to follow through on its legal obligations to pay for their emergency room costs at non-VA facilities. Last year, I spoke with an elderly South Dakota veteran who fell down in his home in the middle of the night. His wife called 911 and when the ambulance came to get him, he asked to be brought to a VA facility so he wouldn’t have to pay the costly emergency room fees out of his own pocket. He was told that his condition required him to be sent to a non-VA hospital. This veteran was faced with thousands of dollars in medical fees, simply because he wasn’t close enough to a VA facility with the needed medical services. We have a moral obligation, and in this case a legal one, to take proper care of our veterans during and after their service to our country. I was happy that the VA made this long-overdue decision, and I look forward to the department finalizing its rules to comply with this law.

On this Veterans Day, we thank our veterans and their families, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and we continue doing what we can to improve the lives of the men and women who bravely served our country. The freedoms we enjoy today are a direct result of the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families.

H.R.1329 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017

November 2, 2017

Summary: H.R.1329 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

There are 3 summaries for H.R.1329.
Passed House amended (05/23/2017)
Reported to House with amendment(s) (05/19/2017)
Introduced in House (03/02/2017)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (05/23/2017)

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on May 19, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase, as of December 1, 2017, the rates of veterans’ wartime disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.

Each such increase shall be the same percentage as the increase in benefits provided under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act, on the same effective date.

The VA may adjust administratively, consistent with such increases, the rates of disability compensation payable to persons entitled to veterans benefits under public laws administered by the VA on December 31, 1958, who have not received benefits under provisions governing veterans compensation for service-connected disability or death.

(Sec. 3) The VA shall publish such increased rates in the Federal Register not later than the date on which certain social security increases are required to be published in FY2018.

All Actions:

11/02/2017 House Presented to President.
10/26/2017 Senate Message on Senate action sent to the House.
10/25/2017 Senate Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
10/25/2017 Senate Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. (consideration: CR S6820)
05/24/2017 Senate Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
05/23/2017-4:06pm House The title of the measure was amended. Agreed to without objection.
05/23/2017-4:06pm House Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
05/23/2017-4:06pm House On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. (text: CR H4476)
05/23/2017-3:55pm House DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1329.
05/23/2017-3:55pm House Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H4476-4477)
05/23/2017-3:55pm House Mr. Roe (TN) moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
05/19/2017 House Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 83.
05/19/2017 House Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. H. Rept. 115-134.
Action By: Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
05/17/2017 House Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
Action By: Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
05/17/2017 House Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Action By: Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
04/27/2017 House Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .
Action By: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
04/27/2017 House Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Action By: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
04/05/2017 House Subcommittee Hearings Held.
Action By: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
03/09/2017 House Referred to the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
Action By: Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
03/02/2017 House Referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
03/02/2017 House Introduced in House

Veterans Honored With Free Parking on Veterans Day At Mount Rushmore National Memorial

November 1, 2017 

Keystone, S.D. – In commemoration of Veterans Day, on Saturday November 11 parking fees will be waived for veterans visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The National Park Service and parking concession operator Xanterra are pleased to offer free parking for all veterans on Veterans Day.  “We are honored to offer our thanks to the brave men and women who have given so much for their country.  We invite veterans to spend part of their special day at the Shrine of Democracy,” stated Superintendent Schreier.  Throughout the summer season staff at Mount Rushmore National Memorial endeavor to commemorate and celebrate our veterans.  On Veterans Day we are pleased to offer them this small token of thanks.  Throughout the year active duty members of the military are offered free parking on a daily basis.

Gov. Daugaard Orders State Capitol Flags At Half-Mast For Korean War Soldier Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte


October 23, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard is ordering flags to fly half-staff at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 25, to honor the life of Army Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, whose remains have returned home after 66 years.

“Philip served his country honorably,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said. “I hope his return home will bring some closure and healing to the wounds borne by his family over these many long years.”

Sgt. Iyotte of White River, S.D., served in the 8th Army as a member of Company E, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, during the Korean War. Iyotte’s battalion was one of the first sent into battle. The sergeant was first wounded in 1950, but returned to the front lines less than three weeks later.

While fighting in Operation Thunderbolt on Feb. 9, 1951, Iyotte was taken by Chinese forces and was later moved to a camp at Changsong. Fellow prisoners of war have said that though Iyotte was wounded while in captivity and could not walk, he sang the Lakota honor song for his fellow soldiers. Iyotte is believed to have passed away after seven months in captivity.

Gov. Daugaard has directed flags at the State Capitol to fly at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, the day of Sgt. Iyotte’s burial.

23rd Annual Custer School District Veterans Day Program

October 20, 2017

By Mark Mills

Custer, SD – Each year the Custer School District presents an hour long program to honor its veterans.  The program is sponsored by Custer American Legion Post #46 and completely run by the students.  It consists of Civil Air Patrol flag posting, patriotic music performed by all classes, the band and the choir, POW/MIA ceremony, remembrance of deceased veterans from the past year, individual recognition of each veteran in attendance by Custer Cub Scouts and the 6th Grade Class, and Civil Air Patrol flag retirement.

Building on its success of the last 4 years, the veterans snacks and social immediately follows the CSD Veterans Day Program in the Custer Armory.  Conducted jointly by the Custer County Democratic and Republican parties, it provides light snacks to our veterans and an opportunity for them to relax and chat.  Memories are swapped and smiles exchanged.  This is a wonderful example of how we still socialize in Custer; America – the way it used to be.


The signing for the State Military and Veterans Arts Initiative.  Pictured: (rear l-r)Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Dan McKee (former chair), Lt. Gov. Matt Michels,  (front l-r)Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (vice chair) and Jay Dick with Americans for the Arts.

PIERRE – Last month, Lt. Gov. Matt Michels was selected to serve as chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association during the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, TN. As chair, Michels announced the group’s initiative for the year would be to focus on connecting veterans with opportunities in the arts.

Now, in partnership with the Michael J Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home, the South Dakota Arts Council and Arts South Dakota, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office is working to design comprehensive arts residency programming for the State Veterans Home and community of Hot Springs. The veterans arts program will be designed around a central storytelling component and include professional artists-in-residence from all arts disciplines.

“I’m excited to begin working on this program, as are all of our partners,” said Michels. “We’ve already developed a concept for the program, and it will take some time to get it designed and implemented. But this will be a wonderful investment to help our state’s honorable veterans share and celebrate their stories.”

Arts South Dakota, funded entirely by donor contributions and grants, is a non-profit, non-partisan corporation whose primary purpose is to advance the arts in South Dakota through service, education and advocacy.

An office of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council’s mission is to provide grants and services to artists, arts organizations and schools across the state with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the state of South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 Signed Into Law

August 16, 2017

CHAMBERLAIN, SD – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today made the following statement after President Trump signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which includes three provisions introduced by Rounds:

“Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they’ve been promised when they enter civilian life,” said Rounds. “I’m pleased that this important, bipartisan legislation was signed into law today.”

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 passed the Senate on Aug. 2, 2017, and includes the following provisions introduced by Rounds:

·         A bill he introduced with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to add all Purple Heart recipients, regardless of length of time spent on active duty, to the list of eligible veterans who can access full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits was included in the bill.

·         The Veterans TEST Accessibility Actintroduced by Rounds and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), to help returning veterans transition into civilian life by making sure they aren’t forced to exhaust a full month of GI Bill benefits in order to be reimbursed for a low-cost certification or test.

·         A provision to allow for more flexibility in allocating Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to survivors of deceased service members.

Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 makes much-needed updates for reservists, Purple Heart recipients, veterans who face school closures while enrolled and surviving family members. The legislation also provides increased resources and authority for educational assistance to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, computer programming and career technical training.

Most significantly, this bill recognizes our country’s need for an agile and adaptable workforce and that American workers need to be lifelong learners. For that purpose, this bill eliminates the arbitrary 15-year period within which a veteran is required to use their GI Bill so they can use their benefits at any time in their professional career.

Additional Provisions:

·         Provides GI Bill eligibility for reservists mobilized under selected reserve orders for preplanned missions in support of the combatant commands or in response to a major disaster or emergency;

·         Provides GI Bill eligibility for reservists undergoing medical care;

·         Provides full GI  Bill benefits for Purple Heart recipients regardless of length of service;

·         Extends Yellow Ribbon Program benefits to Fry scholarship recipients; and

·         Increases GI Bill payments by $2,300 per year for veterans with less than 12 months of active service.

The legislation is named in honor of Harry Walter Colmery, an Army Air Service veteran and former national commander of the American Legion who drafted the original GI Bill in 1944 to improve the transition for World War II veterans back to civilian life.