December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In a speech to Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor "a date which will live in infamy." National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed in the U.S. today to remember the 2,403 U.S. citizens who were killed in the surprise attack. In response, the United States declared war on Japan the next day and entered World War II on the side of the Allies. There were 405,399 Americas killed in action with 670,846 wounded in World War II – among those killed in action were 487 West Point graduates. Six West Point graduates and one former Cadet received the Medal of Honor in the European Theater of Operations and three West Point graduates received the Medal of Honor in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
BG David Hiester, Class of 1936, was on duty at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. His wife and two children were evacuated on the first boat of family members to leave the island. Hiester's son 2LT David Hiester Jr (1961) and grandchildren COL(R) David Painter '83 and LTC(R) Deirdre Painter Dixon '84 are also West Point graduates, as well as great-granddaughter 2LT Caneel Dixon ’20. Hiester's Class ring was donated to the 2019 WPAOG Ring Memorial Program or "Ring Melt" to be melted and mixed with the gold for the West Point class rings for the Class of 2020.
Read more about the Ring Memorial program: https://www.westpointaog.org/RingMemorialProgram