64TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
STAR-BULLETIN / 1998
Guests observe a moment of silence as the USS Russell passes by the Arizona Memorial during a past Dec. 7 commemoration. No Pearl Harbor ceremony will be held aboard the Arizona Memorial today.
One Pearl Harbor ceremony to fit increase in guests
For the first time in 25 years* of observing the anniversary of Dec. 7, 1941, there will be only one memorial today at the site of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.
In the past, the early-morning ceremonies -- which begin with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. when the attack began -- were held at the memorial that sits over the sunken battleship USS Arizona and at the U.S. National Park visitors center.
This year, the 64th anniversary of the attack, the two services have been combined at the visitors center, partly because a large group of Pearl Harbor survivors and their families plan to attend.
But that also may be how future services will be conducted, said Agnes Tauyan, Pearl Harbor spokeswoman.
It will be done "to accommodate the desires of the survivors who want their children and grandchildren to understand what happened here," she said.
Pearl Harbor survivors are the guests of honor at the memorial service. They gather in the assembly room of the memorial, dedicated in 1962 to the 1,177 crew members of the Arizona who remain entombed in the hull of the sunken warship.
The memorial straddles the sunken battleship near Ford Island, but it can accommodate only up to 200 people. That leaves little room for Pearl Harbor survivors' families because many of the remaining seats are taken up by community and military leaders.
This year, the 64th anniversary of the attack, at least 20 Pearl Harbor survivors will be among the 2,000 guests, including relatives, friends, foreign dignitaries, and military and government leaders. However, more than 40 Pearl Harbor survivors and a large number of relatives had expressed an interest in attending. The number of Pearl Harbor survivors and family members alone number more than 60.
"There also are so many more that just show up without telling us each year," Tauyan said.
After the 90-minute service, members of the Japanese Religious Committee for World Federation, representatives from 30 local organizations, survivors and their families take wreaths to the memorial.
As in past years, "there will be a basket of flowers if the survivors want to toss one into the waters beneath the shrine room, Tauyan said. "They will be allowed to stay and reflect if they so desire."
Among the Pearl Harbor survivors will be five crew members from the destroyer USS Ward, which reported the sighting of the conning tower of a midget submarine trying to sneak into Pearl Harbor 70 minutes before the Japanese attack in 1941. The Ward's warning went unheeded.
The Ward fired two shots, hitting the conning tower with the second one and sinking it in 1,200 feet of water outside the Pearl Harbor channel.
Adm. Michael Mullen, head of the U.S. Navy as chief of naval operations, will be the keynote speaker. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack and served in World War II, also will be among the speakers.
As part of the traditional service, the destroyer USS Chaffee will mark the beginning of the service by cruising past the memorial -- with its crew decked out in dress whites.
A flyover by Hawaii Air National Guard jets will conclude the ceremony.
Other commemorative ceremonies were planned at other military installations. At 7:45 a.m., a wreath-laying ceremony at Hickam Air Force Base was to honor 189 men who were killed there during the Japanese attack.
Several surviving members from the 11th Bombardment Group and their families will join the service. That group received more damage than any other Army Air Corps unit during the attack. Of the 350 members, 245 were injured and 16 were killed.
At 8 a.m. at Kaneohe Bay, Brig. Gen. Steven Hummer, commanding general of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Navy Capt. Robert Adrion, commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2, are expected to lay a wreath at the Kaneohe Klipper Memorial. The ceremony honors the 18 sailors and one civilian killed during the attack.
Two waves of Japanese attack planes from six carriers hit the 185 warships of the Pacific Fleet on Dec. 7, 1941, as they lay at anchor in Pearl Harbor. The first wave of 183 planes struck at 7:55 a.m., followed by a second assault of 170 aircraft at 8:40 a.m.
Two hours later, 323 U.S. planes had been destroyed and 21 warships, including eight battleships, were sunk or destroyed. Some 2,390 U.S. military and civilians were killed, 960 were missing and 1,178 wounded.
Thursday, December 8, 2005
» For 25 years the Arizona Memorial and its visitor center had held two simultaneous memorial services to observe the anniversary of Dec. 7, 1941. A Page A1 article in yesterday's morning edition incorrectly reported that yesterday's observance was the first time in four decades that there would be only one observance.