71st Pearl Harbor Day honors lasting legacy of heroics

| November 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

The USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri, both stationed in Pearl Harbor, signify the beginning and ending of World War II, respectively. (Photo courtesy Battleship Missouri Memorial)

McNeil Wilson Communications
News Release

PEARL HARBOR — The National Park Service and U.S. Navy will host a joint memorial ceremony commemorating the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7:45-9:30 a.m., Dec. 7, at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, formerly known as the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, here.

The ceremony will take place on the back lawn of the visitor center that looks directly out on the USS Arizona Memorial.

The theme of this year’s historic commemoration, “Coming of Age — From Innocence To Valor,” honors those who served in the U.S. armed forces on that fateful day.

The attack represented more than a change in America’s status from peace to war; it was a sudden shift from youthful innocence to a searing awareness of the cost and consequences of war. Heroically, these men and women did not back down.

Also not forgotten were the thousands of civilians who witnessed the attack, including the 49 who lost their lives.

At 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began 71 years ago, a moment of silence will be observed. A guided missile destroyer will render honors to the USS Arizona, and the Hawaii Air National Guard will fly over the memorial in a “missing man” formation.

The ceremony will conclude with a “walk of honor” by Pearl Harbor survivors and other World War II veterans through an honor cordon of military and National Park Service men and women.

Keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The ceremony will be co-hosted by Paul DePrey, superintendent, National Park Service, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, and Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Highlights of the ceremony will include music by the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, morning colors, a Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by members of the U.S. Marine Corps, wreath presentations, echo taps, and recognition of the men and women who survived the attack of Dec. 7, 1941, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In addition, a series of special events recognizing the 70th anniversary of the USS Bowfin and the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will be open to the public, through Dec. 9.

Other public events include free after-hour events at the USS Bowfin and Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, a world premiere of a Military Channel film documenting the first 15 minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and free one-hour historic Pearl Harbor boat tours narrated by National Park Service rangers.

Pearl Harbor Day

To find out more information about the Pearl Harbor Day 71st anniversary Commemoration Ceremony and special events, visit www.pearlharborevents.com.

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