National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

 

Today, Americans across the country will honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago.

Pearl Harbor Day, also known as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, is an annual observance of the lives lost in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 

Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, Japanese forces led a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing with them hundreds of fighter planes.

It began with a first wave of 183 planes, followed by a second wave of 171 planes, all with varying targets. A third wave was initially considered, but later withdrawn.

Thousands of Americans died in the less than 90-minute assault, including civilians. Another thousand were wounded. 

President Bill Clinton declared Dec. 7, 1994, the first National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Though it is not a federal holiday, the American flag is flown at half-staff until the sun sets in honor of those who died as a result of the surprise attack. 

Visitors often flock to the island of Oahu to commemorate the day. There, a series of memorial ceremonies are scheduled on historic Pacific Fleet sites.


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