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Does the WWII Memorial Forget God?

Fiction: No. There is a heavily circulated chain email that claims the WWII memorial, which opened in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 2004, omits the phrase “So help us God” from the words President Roosevelt used during his announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This email, which entails an anonymous woman’s trip to the WWII memorial, also encourages the readers to write their Members of Congress and “ask them to have this oversight fixed . . . and to put the words ‘So help us God’ back into this speech.” This charge is simply untrue.

The plaque on the WWII memorial includes only an excerpt of that famous speech made by FDR - namely, the opening line and the full second sentence of the 8th paragraph which together reads:

"PEARL HARBOR
DECEMBER 7, 1941, A DATE
WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY...
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.”

"So help us God," is neither omitted from the excerpt nor the final line of this speech as the chain email claims. The line that the anonymous woman is recalling is actually part of the last sentence of the 11th paragraph - the next-to-last paragraph of the speech; a line which reads "With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.” This sentence is not part of the excerpt quoted on the WWII memorial plaque.





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