Pearl Harbor 80th National Remembrance Commemoration

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — December 7, 1941 was a date many people will never forget.

Just before 8 a.m. Pearl Harbor was attacked by a surprise military strike by the imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.

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The first of many events started on Pearl Harbor where 150 WWII veterans including 40 Pearl Harbor survivors were seated at Kilo Pier for the main ceremony.

According to organizers there was about 800 people in attendance. It started with a message from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Superintendent and wrapped up with a wreath presentation and a fly over.

Although this attack took place eight decades ago, many military members remember it like it was yesterday.

The next event was the USS Oklahoma reinterment of the Unknowns. At this event, the U.S. Navy and other agencies hosted a reinterment of the 33 remaining unknown sailors of the USS Oklahoma.

The Honorable Carlos Del Toro who is the current Secretary of the Navy gave a small speech honoring those who have still not been identified. 

“We are here to pay respect today to the remains of 33 sailors,” said Del Toro. “Who despite tremendous efforts cannot be identified.”

Organizers said through the six-year effort of project Oklahoma 355 of 366 sailors and marines have been identified.

The next event was the USS Oklahoma Memorial Ceremony. WW2 veterans, U.S. Allied service members, friends, and family paid tribute to the 429 crewmembers of the USS Oklahoma killed during the attack.

Richard Jones, the Commanding Officer of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, said the sacrifice these men and women took should never be forgotten. 

“Ordinary people fueled by courage strength and tenacity carried out extraordinary actions both inside and outside Oklahoma’s hall,” said Jones. 

Organizers said 415 sailors and 14 marines continued to fight even after their ship was struck by eight torpedoes. The ninth torpedo hit the ship as it sank and begun to capsize.

The last event of the day was the USS Arizona interment of Lt. Harvey Milhorn. This was the 45th interment of a USS Arizona survivor.

Lt. Harvey Milhorn was blown off the back of the ship on December 7, swam to safety on ford island, then he received medical care that saved his life.

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He was eventually reassigned to the USS Tennessee and served on various ships throughout WII.

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