Services come together for joint 73rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

| December 12, 2014 | 0 Comments
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter Vistors enter the USS Arizona Memorial during the 73rd anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The battleship was destroyed and most of the crew were killed on Dec. 7, 1941. Four surviving shipmates, all in their 90s, were present at this year’s ceremony.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter
Vistors enter the USS Arizona Memorial during the 73rd anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The battleship was destroyed and most of the crew were killed on Dec. 7, 1941. Four surviving shipmates, all in their 90s, were present at this year’s ceremony.

Sgt 1st Class Jaquetta Gooden
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

 

PEARL HARBOR — Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen joined together to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sunday.

During the event, hosted by the National Park Service and the Navy, service members from each branch of service had the honor of participating in a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial service. A noncommissioned officer from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command represented the Army.

“It was definitely an honor to be a part of this ceremony. The survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 73 years ago, sacrificed a lot and lost many friends and family,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Giauque, early warning section NCO in charge, 94th AAMDC. “This ceremony paid tribute to their sacrifices, and I am extremely thankful that I was able to be a part of it”

The program was filled with highlights, such as music, a Hawaiian blessing and a cannon salute. However, it was the laying of the wreath that made it memorable for Giauque. The wreath laying ceremony is symbolic for paying respects to the fallen, a formal way of paying respects to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“My favorite part of the ceremony was being able to represent the U.S. Army in escorting an Army Pearl Harbor survivor to lay the wreath,” added Giauque.

The significance of the attack on Pearl Harbor will forever touch each and every service member, especially those who were stationed, here, who are reminded every day of the tragic events that took place.

“I cannot imagine how the service men must have felt during the attacks, especially being stationed right where it happened,” said Giauque. “Our headquarters is being moved to the building on Hickam Air Force Base, where a 500-pound bomb was dropped on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. I am reminded of this attack everyday when I walk into my office because there are still bullet holes in the side of our building from the strafing runs conducted by the Japanese Zeros.”

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan A joint service color guard parades the colors during the commemoration ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. More than 2,000 guests, including Pearl Harbor survivors and other veterans, attended the memorial ceremony.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan
A joint service color guard parades the colors during the commemoration ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. More than 2,000 guests, including Pearl Harbor survivors and other veterans, attended the memorial ceremony.

 

“The good Lord saved just a few of us,” said Donald Stratton, 92, one of the survivors of a gun director in the forward part of the ship.

Stratton sustained severe burns during the attack, which required hospitalization lasting for more than a year.

“So terrible, terrible day,” Stratton said.

A moment of silence was observed at 7:55 a.m., the exact time the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began 73 years ago. The guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) rendered pass in review honors to the USS Arizona and all Pearl Harbor survivors present.

The 199th Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, 19th Fighter Squadron, U.S. Air Force, also presented an F-22 Raptors flyover.

This year’s theme for the historic event focused on “Preserving the Memory,” ensuring that the memories of the attack on Oahu and World War II live on through each passing generation.

Precious items, such as letters, photographs and diaries, are used to educate, commemorate and memorialize a generation.

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Category: News, Observances

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