News / USA

US Remembers Pearl Harbor, 70 Years Later

Pearl Harbor survivors George Richard (L) and Charlie Boswell talk about where they were on December 7, 1941 as they tour the Arizona Memorial at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii December 5, 2011.
Pearl Harbor survivors George Richard (L) and Charlie Boswell talk about where they were on December 7, 1941 as they tour the Arizona Memorial at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii December 5, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • VOA's Victor Beattie interviews Kerry Gershaneck, Pearl Harbor public affairs officer, on the lessons of Pearl Harbor

The United States on Wednesday marked the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that catapulted the U.S. into World War Two.

About 120 survivors of the attack attended a ceremony at Pearl Harbor itself, in the Pacific island state of Hawaii.  Some 3,000 people observed the event at a memorial structure straddling the sunken remains of the USS Arizona battleship.

They held a moment of silence at 7:55 in the morning (UTC 17:55), the exact moment Japan's Imperial Navy began the surprise attack.

Memorial events marking the December 7,1941 attack are being held throughout the U.S., with flags flying at half-staff to memorialize the dead.

Pearl Harbor Facts

Dec. 7, 1941 130 vessels of the U.S. Pacific fleet are anchored at Pearl Harbor.

7:55 a.m. First wave of Japanese aircraft arrives.

8:10 a.m. USS Arizona explodes after armor-piercing shell strikes forward ammunition magazine.

Casualties 1,177 U.S. sailors and marines on USS Arizona are killed, about 333 survive.

Aftermath The USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and USS Utah are lost in the attack. Remainder of the fleet is salvaged and returns to action later in the war.

Today Each year more than one million people visit the USS Arizona Memorial, constructed over the remains of the battleship.

In a statement marking the day, U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to those whose died, saying that "their tenacity helped define the greatest generation."

The attack by the Japanese on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor was unprovoked.  Four U.S. battleships sank or capsized, several hundred warplanes were destroyed and more than 2,400 servicemen, women and civilians died.  It was the most devastating foreign attack on U.S. soil until September 11, 2001.

Many Americans draw a comparison between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attacks in 2001.  A spokesman for the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard says the comparison keeps the memory of Pearl Harbor alive for a new generation.

"And always in the context of 9/11 you'll almost always hear a reference to - this was our generation's, this generation's Pearl Harbor," said Public affairs officer Kerry Gershaneck.  "So, I think the memory of Pearl Harbor is eternal as long as this nation endures."

The U.S. declared war on Japan the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  On December 11, 1941, Japan's Axis partners Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S., marking the nation's entry into the global conflict.

VOA's Victor Beattie interviews Kerry Gershaneck, public affairs officer for the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, on the lessons of Pearl Harbor.

 

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs