PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Pearl Harbor survivors, dignitaries and the public are remembering those killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago.
About 20 Pearl Harbor survivors observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. Friday during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. That’s the same moment the bombing began on Dec. 7, 1941.
The youngest of the survivors are now in their mid-90s but most stood to salute for the national anthem.
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Commander Adm. Phil Davidson told those gathered the nation can never forget the heavy price paid with 21 vessels damaged or sunk, 170 planes destroyed and more than 2,400 killed including servicemen and civilians.
He says these losses did not break the American spirit but charged it.
Less than two dozen survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are gathering to remember the thousands lost 77 years ago.
John Mathrursse is visiting the site of the attack from Mountain View, California. He was an 18-year-old seaman second class walking out of the chow hall on Ford Island to see a friend on the USS West Virginia when the bombing began.
He says bombs and shells were going off in the water and men were getting hurt. He says he helped the ones who were too injured to swim. He carried them to the mess hall and set them on mattresses that people grabbed from the barracks above.
Robert Fernandez is now 94-years old. He says he returns to Pearl Harbor for the anniversary because he’s now all alone after his wife died four years ago.
About 20 survivors are gathering at Pearl Harbor to remember thousands of men lost in the Japanese attack 77 years ago.
The youngest of the survivors is in his mid-90s. The Navy and National Park Service will jointly host the remembrance ceremony Friday at a grassy site overlooking the water and the USS Arizona Memorial.
Attendees are expected to observe a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the time the attack began on Dec. 7, 1941. Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 jets will fly overhead in “missing man formation” to break the silence.
No survivor from the USS Arizona will be attending the annual ceremony as none were able to make the trip to Hawaii.
The Arizona lost 1,177 sailors and Marines, the greatest number of casualties from any ship.