Hawaii commemoration will draw handful of Pearl Harbor survivors – Thelocalreport.in

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A handful of centennial survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor They are expected to gather at the Japanese bombing site on Wednesday to commemorate those who perished 81 years ago.

That’s fewer than in recent years, when a dozen or more traveled to Hawaii from across the country to pay their respects at the annual commemoration ceremony.

Part of the decline reflects the decline in the number of survivors as they age. The youngest active duty military personnel on December 7, 1941 would have been around 17 years old, making them 98 today. Many of those still alive are at least 100 years old.

About 2,400 servicemen died in the bombardment., which launched the United States into World War II. The USS Arizona alone lost 1,177 sailors and Marines, nearly half the death toll.

Robert John Lee remembers being a 20-year-old civilian living in his parents’ house on the naval base where his father ran the water pumping station. The house was only 1 mile across the harbor from where the USS Arizona was moored on the battleship row.

The first explosions before 8 am woke him up, making him think that a door was blowing shut in the wind. He got up to yell at someone to close the door only to look out the window at Japanese planes dropping torpedoes from the sky.

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