We remember the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago today. History records that 2,390 service members and 49 civilians were killed and the U.S. was dragged into World War II.
Now it is time to remember, contemplate and learn. We were honored to be present at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. For many of the frail Japanese and American veterans gathered here, this was a final milestone for those who survived the battle on Dec. 7, 1941.
With most members in their 90s, the national Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, disbanded on Dec. 31. Consider, if youngest survivor at Pearl Harbor was 16, then hew would 87 now, and most sailors were older.
The National Park Service and Navy Region Hawaii hosted the 70th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration on December 7, 2011 on the back lawn of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The venue looks directly out on the USS Arizona Memorial situated in Pearl Harbor, approximately half a mile away.
The ceremony included military band music, morning colors, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by members of the armed services, wreath presentations, echo taps, and recognition of the men and women who survived that December 7, 1941 and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
At 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack began 70 years ago, a moment of silence was observed. A U.S. Navy ship rendered honors to the USS Arizona followed by a “missing man” formation flight over the Memorial.
Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans, along with their families and friends from around the nation, joined more than 3,000 distinguished guests and the general public for the annual observance of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The venue looks directly out on the USS Arizona Memorial situated in Pearl Harbor, approximately half a mile away.
Many veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country were laid to rest at Punchbowl Cemetery, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
|Of the estimated 60,000 men and women in the military stationed on Oahu on that day, only a few thousand survive today. Many of them are laid to rest at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, commonly know as Punchbowl.|