December 7, 2005
Survivors, Sailors Remember Pearl Harbor
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 4:25 p.m. ET
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) -- About 2,000 sailors, veterans, community leaders and guests bowed their heads Wednesday in remembrance at the spot where Japanese planes attacked 64 years ago.
As Hawaii Air National Guard F-15s flew in formation overhead and the distinctive Arizona Memorial glistened in the distance, survivors laid wreaths in honor of ships that were destroyed in the Pearl Harbor attack. Trumpeters from a Pacific Fleet band played ''Taps.''
The crowd observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. -- the exact time the surprise attack began in 1941.
''We cannot help ourselves but to return, not just to honor but to learn,'' said Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chief of U.S. naval operation. ''We hope for the future and emulate the World War II generation. We look to their courage, to their determination and to their commitment.''
The crowd gathered on a grassy area outside the memorial visitors' center where thousands of tourists come each day to remember the attack and take boats to the memorial erected over the sunken USS Arizona battleship.
The Arizona still holds the bodies of hundreds of sailors killed in the attack.
Navy reservists from the USS Ward, which fired the first shots of the war when its crew spotted and sank a Japanese midget submarine, were also honored at this year's ceremonies.
The Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours, leaving 21 U.S. ships heavily damaged and 323 aircraft damaged or destroyed.
It killed 2,390 people and wounded 1,178.