Pearl Harbor Remembers 75th Anniversary of WWII Attack

Multiple ceremonies commemorate “the date which will live in infamy.”

Pearl Harbor 75th Commemoration
The USS Arizona memorial on the day of the 75th Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremony.Facebook/U.S. Navy

The 11-day 75th Commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor culminated yesterday on the 75th anniversary of the tragic event that was the catalyst to U.S. involvement in World War II. In a surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii, more than 2,400 military service members and civilians were killed, and more than 20 naval vessels and 300 airplanes were destroyed. The devastation earned December 7, 1941, the name “a date which will live in infamy,” by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration at Kilo Pier, which overlooks the USS Arizona memorial, began with a moment of silence and an F-22 missing-man flyover at 7:55 a.m., the time at which the attacks began. Hundreds of WWII veterans, including several survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, attended the event, which focused on the peace that now endures between Japan and the U.S.

Another one of the events that marked the commemoration was a double interment ceremony on board the USS Arizona, which still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona sank quickly after a bomb detonated a powder magazine, causing a violent explosion that made the ship sink, bringing 1,177 officers and seamen along with it. The remains of John Anderson (boatswain's mate, second class) and Clarendon Hetrick (seaman, first class) were brought to the well of turret No. 4 by National Park Service and Navy divers.

The second greatest loss during the Pearl Harbor attack was realized by the USS Oklahoma, on which 429 people died. A special ceremony at the USS Oklahoma memorial site on Ford Island included honored speakers and a performance by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band.

Since the inception of the memorial on Ford Island, the National Park Service has held commemorative ceremonies each year to honor the people who lost their lives on December 7, 1941.

The full Remembrance Day Commemoration was livestreamed on the Navy's Facebook page. Watch the full ceremony below.