Veterans and dignitaries gathered in Hawaii on Saturday to pay tribute on the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ceremonies were scheduled despite Wednesday's shooting by a sailor at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard that left two civilians dead.
The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony was scheduled to begin at 7:50 a.m. local time Saturday at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Hawaii News Now reported. That was the moment Japanese fighter planes strafed the battleships at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, plunging the United States into World War II.
The attack, which lasted 2 hours, 2 minutes, killed 2,403 Americans and left the Pacific fleet in ruins.
Dignitaries will include one of the three remaining survivors of the USS Arizona -- Lou Conter, 98, of Grass Valley, California, the website reported. The other two survivors are Ken Potts and Don Stratton, The Mercury News reported.
Conter was a 20-year-old enlisted man when the Japanese attacked, the Mercury News reported. He had recently been accepted to flight school and later flew bombing missions in the South Pacific, the newspaper reported. He retired as a lieutenant commander in 1967, and later became a real estate developer in Palm Springs, California.
Another sailor who survived the attack on the USS Arizona will be honored Saturday.
Bruner is expected to be the last USS Arizona survivor to be interred on the warship, which was sunk during the Japanese attack, Pearl Harbor National Memorial spokesman Jay Blount told NPR. Private arrangements for the remaining survivors have been planned.
Saturday's ceremony will include remarks from Adm. Harry Harris Jr., ambassador to South Korea and former commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Hawaii News Now reported. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt will also speak.
Seven of the Pacific Fleet’s nine battleships were moored at Pearl Harbor’s “Battleship Row” on Saturday.
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