Thousands Gather To Mark 72nd Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor

About 3,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.

About 70 World War II veterans and survivors of the Dec. 7 bombing were expected to attend the ceremony on the shore overlooking a memorial to the USS Arizona battleship that sank during the attack.

The event began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began 72 years ago. A guided missile destroyer was scheduled to pass by and render honors to the USS Arizona and its crew.

The Navy and National Park Service co-hosted the ceremony, which was open to the public. Their theme for the event, "Sound the Alarm," explored how Americans answered a call to duty in the wake of the attack.

Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia was scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

The Vietnam War veteran is now secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which is responsible for managing overseas cemeteries for fallen American troops.

The current U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. was also scheduled to speak.

Later in the day, Pearl Harbor survivors join military and government officials in a parade through Waikiki.

(Copyright WITN & The Associated Press.)

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