audience stands to applaud Pearl Harbor survivors and other
World War II veterans at a memorial ceremony in Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Dozens of survivors
were joined by about 3,000 others for a ceremony remembering
those killed in the Japanese attack 74 years ago.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — A few
dozen elderly men who survived the Japanese bombing of Pearl
Harbor 74 years ago gathered at the site to remember fellow
servicemen who didn't make it.
The U.S. Navy and National Park
Service hosted Monday's ceremony in remembrance of those killed on
Dec. 7, 1941. More than 3,000 people joined the survivors.
Adm. Harry Harris, the top U.S.
military commander in the Pacific, said the day "must forever
remain burned into the American consciousness."
"For 74 years, we've
remembered Pearl Harbor. We've remained vigilant. And today's
armed forces are ready to answer the alarm bell," said
Harris, who leads the U.S. Pacific Command.
He said the military was also
working to "keep the alarm bell from sounding in the first
place" by refocusing its attention on Asia and the Pacific
region with the aim of maintaining stability, prosperity and
Ed Schuler, 94, said he keeps
returning to Pearl Harbor to honor his old shipmates killed on the
Harbor survivors Lou Cantor, left, John Hughes, center, and
Ed Schuler, right, pose for photos at the USS Arizona
Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. The
three gathered on the memorial for a wreath-laying ceremony
on the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl
He said 125 sailors from his ship,
a light cruiser called the USS Phoenix, had transferred to the
Arizona the day before the attack. They were all killed, he said.
"I come back just to renew my
acquaintance," said Schuler, who lives in San Jose,
Robert Irwin of Cameron Park,
California, was in the barracks when the attack began and saw
Japanese planes flying overhead. A fellow sailor saw a Rising Sun
insignia on the wings and asked Irwin if he knew what the
"red ball" was.
The seaman first class hopped on a
truck that took him to the USS Pennsylvania, where he fed
ammunition to the deck of the battleship.
"It brings back some lousy
memories," said Irwin, of returning to Pearl Harbor. But he
comes to the annual ceremony because the attack was a "big
thing in my life." The 91 year old served as firefighter in
San Francisco after the war and retired as a lieutenant in 1979.
Harbor survivor John Hughes pauses to look at a wall
engraved with the names of USS Arizona sailors and Marines
killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor after a wreath-laying
ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. A memorial and a wreath-laying
ceremony were marking the 74th anniversary of the Japanese
The event was held on a Navy pier
overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial. The pier straddles the
battleship that sank nine minutes after being hit. It remains a
gravesite for many of those killed.
One part of the ceremony didn't go
The Navy destroyer USS Preble was
scheduled to sound its whistle to start a moment of silence at
7:55 a.m., the minute the attack began 74 years ago. Hawaii Air
National Guard F-22s were due to fly overhead to break the silence
about 45 seconds later.
But Navy Region Hawaii spokeswoman
Agnes Tauyan said the program was running behind, and the Preble
didn't sound its whistle. Fighter jets flew overhead on schedule,
but the master of ceremonies was still speaking.
A moment of silence was held
Tauyan said everyone came together
to honor and remember the war dead and those who survived the
attack. She said the Navy heard nothing but positive feedback
about the ceremony.
"I feel we've accomplished our
mission," she said. Tauyan characterized the problem with the
moment of silence as a "small glitch."
More than 2,400 sailors, Marines,
and soldiers were killed at Pearl Harbor and other military
installations on the island of Oahu.