View Full Version : Thousands Pay Tribute at Pearl Harbor, 75 Years After Attack

December 7th, 2016, 01:28 PM
The number of survivors and witnesses of the bombing of Pearl Harbor has thinned to a small group of senior citizens. But after three-quarters of a century, Dec. 7 the date President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "will live in infamy" is still a powerful American touchstone.

Thousands of people including many veterans in their 90s gathered for Wednesday's commemoration at the Hawaiian naval base where Japanese aircraft staged an unprovoked attack on American forces in 1941, thrusting the United States into World War II.
The assault left 2,335 service members dead, many of whose bodies remain underwater with the wreckage of the USS Arizona. Another 68 civilians perished.

President Obama, who will visit the site later this month with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, marked National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with a statement that praised the sacrifice not only of the people who were attacked, but of the "millions of GIs and Rosie the Riveters who answered the call to defend liberty at its moment of maximum peril."

Obama added, "We give thanks to the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who faced down fear itself, met infamy with intrepidity, freed captive peoples from fascism and whose example inspires us still."
The main event included a moment of silence to mark the time Japanese plans hit their first target and an appearance from Donald Stratton, one of five known living survivors of the USS Arizona.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey rendered pass-in-review honors to the USS Arizona, and a missing man flyover was conducted above the harbor.

The ceremony was to be followed by other services around the harbor and Hawaii.
The United States ended World War II nearly four years after Pearl Harbor by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the decades since, the two countries have become close allies.

"We are living proof that time heals, that it is possible to become the best of friends and allies and to have the deepest consideration and trust for one another," said the Rev. Tsunekiyo of the Japan Religious Committee for World Federation.

Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor will come seven months after Obama became the first

The attacks on Pearl Harbor were very tragic and will not be forgotten. It certainly shaped what would happen in the following years.