Update 9:15 a.m.
The roughly 90-minute Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at Kilo Pier ends with the playing of “Echo Taps.“
Update 9 a.m.
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Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., in closing his remarks, says tells the veterans, “We owe you an immeasurable debt and we can’t thank you enough.”
Update 8:45 a.m.
In his keynote speech, Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Command, elicits a standing ovation as he honored the Pearl Harbor veterans, saying they “never took a knee” when they heard the national anthem.
Update 8:40 a.m.
Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, thanks the assembled veterans, telling them, “You changed the world forever.”
Update: 8:25 a.m.
The Rev. Tsuneko Tanaka of the Japan Religious Committee for World Federation tells the thousands gathered at Pearl Harbor, “We are living proof that time heals.”
Update: 8:05 a.m.
The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony got underway with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. to mark the time, 75 years ago, when the Japanese attack began. The moment of silence was followed by an F-22 missing-man formation flyover and the singing of the National Anthem and Hawaii Pono’i. The missile destroyer USS Halsey then rendered “pass-in-review honors” to the Arizona Memorial. From Kilo Pier overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial, Donald Stratton — one of four of the five Arizona survivors attending today’s ceremony — returned the salute of the Halsey’s sailors.
In the tragedy that was Pearl Harbor, about 2,455 men, women and children were killed in the attacks on Oahu.
The total includes 2,390 American service members and Oahu civilians, 56 Japanese aviators, and up to nine Japanese submariners.
This morning at Pearl Harbor, the nation remembers the date that lives in infamy 75 years later.
Thousands of people, including hundreds of attack survivors and World War II veterans — most in their 90s and older, have gathered at Kilo Pier overlooking the Arizona Memorial and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to pay tribute to the fallen.
As every year on this date, there will be speeches, taps will be played, a missing-man formation flyover and at 7:55 a.m. — the time the attack began — a moment of silence.
But this 75th anniversary is different with many more of the Greatest Generation making the pilgrimage to pay one final salute to their comrades. The guests today include four of the five remaining USS Arizona survivors.
USS Arizona dead would total 1,177 — the single greatest loss of life in U.S. Navy history.
Hawaii’s service members and civilians paid the initial price, but Japan would face a much greater one as America’s economic might and fighting spirit eventually brought victory in the Pacific.
“Pearl Harbor is a saga of swift action, stark tragedy and great heroism,” author Gordon W. Prange wrote in “At Dawn We Slept.”
Stories abound of U.S. military men, unprepared for what had come, standing up to fight back in the face of the onslaught.
On Tuesday, at a ceremony at Ewa Field, retired Marine Maj. John Hughes, 97, who returned fire on Dec. 7, 1941, with a Springfield bolt-action rifle, said he has no ill feelings toward the Japanese.
“On this 75th anniversary,” said Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the USS Arizona Memorial, “as we pause here to remember Pearl Harbor and also now to celebrate 70 years of peace between the United States and Japan, we can look at the words that Mr. Hughes said — that he has no ill feelings toward (the Japanese) — and we can move forward.”