Forging the Future

The “Unconquerable Spirit” of America in 1943


Seventy-five years ago, on January 7, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to the nation in his State of the Union address before Congress. The radio waves carried his words to America and to our military forces stationed all over the world. Just a little more than year had passed since the tragedy at Pearl Harbor. The first commemorative service of remembering Pearl Harbor had taken place on December 7th 1942. In that year all branches of American forces were rising to the challenge, steadily advancing on all fronts.

 


 

The President’s words in 1943 reviewed what was happening along the theaters of the war, giving insight and inspiration to those Americans who listened on the homefront and on the battlefields:

“First in the importance in the American scene has been the inspiring proof of the great qualities of our fighting men. They have demonstrated these qualities in adversity as well as in victory. As long as our flag flies over this Capitol, Americans will honor the soldiers, sailors and Marines who fought our first battles of this war against overwhelming odds the heroes – living and dead, of Wake and Bataan and Guadalcanal, of the Java Sea and Midway and the North Atlantic convoys. Their unconquerable spirit will live forever.”

 


 

“A tremendous, costly, long-enduring task in peace as well as in war is still ahead of us. But, as we face that continuing task, we may know that the state of this Nation is good–the heart of this Nation is sound-the spirit of this Nation is strong–the faith of this Nation is eternal.”

On this 77th anniversary of December 7, President Roosevelt’s words still resonate as we commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and remember the “Unconquerable Spirit” of the United States during World War II.


Listen to this and other recorded speeches from Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.