Honolulu is to receive over 50 WWII veterans at 73rd Pearl Harbor commemoration this weekend. About 2,500 people were expected at the Sunday early morning service organized on the main garden at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Today’s ceremony will be joined by four of the nine remaining survivors of USS Arizona, who reached Oahu for the last official meeting of the USS Arizona Reunion Association on Tuesday. The get-together reunited more than 12 persons over 90 years old who outlived the attack for recalling stories of the assault. The Pearl Harbor attack led to 2,400 Marines and soldier deaths.
With the occasion on Tuesday, the veterans honored shipmates that did not survived with copies of champagne glasses from the Arizona. Glasses were filled from a bottle of champagne given to the fighters by President Gerald Ford in 1975.
Veterans started arriving at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on Tuesday where they were received with military salutes and U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band background music. A news conference was organized where the guest shared their memories about the attack. During the same day the ‘toughies’ had also seen a live-broadcast of a dive into the area where lie the remains of over 900 men out of 1,177 who expired on the ship.
The Sunday event is part of a nationwide recalling of the events of Dec. 7, 1941. On Friday, President Obama declared Dec. 7 to be National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
During Today’s event a U.S. Armed forces cannon is scheduled, along with Hawaiian blessings.
Since numerous World War II veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors can’t make a trip to Hawaii, the ceremony will be available on live-webcast.
The shores of Hawaii were bathed by a wonderful sun on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, and nothing predicted what was shortly going to happen. At 7:48 a.m., that peacefulness was broken by a shock Japanese air assault on the U.S. maritime base at Pearl Harbor.
Throughout the following two hours, Japanese flying bombs, torpedoes and kamikaze assaults produced incredible damages to each of the eight U.S. warships positioned at Pearl Harbor and sinking four of them. An additional three cruisers, three destroyers, a minelayer and an anti-aircraft ship were smashed or submerged. Out of all the eight ships in Pearl Harbor, only one remains submerged, all the rest being recovered and used in WWII.