Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 5, 2003

Commemoration of Pearl Harbor attack begins today

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Military and civilian groups will hold several events beginning today to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor.

A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Kane'ohe Klipper Memorial at 8 a.m. today to honor the 18 sailors and one civilian who died during the Japanese attack on the Naval Air Station in Kane'ohe.

Brig. Gen. Jerry McAbee, commander of Marine Corps Base Hawai'i, and Daniel Martinez, historian for the USS Arizona Memorial and National Parks Service, will lay a wreath in honor of those who died.

The Navy will host two ceremonies on Sunday, including a memorial service on board the USS Arizona Memorial that begins at 7:50 a.m.

The crew of the USS O'Kane, a Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer, will render honors to the Arizona.

The Hawai'i Air National Guard will fly planes over the Arizona in a "missing man" formation, and the service will include prayers, wreath presentations, a 21-gun salute and echo taps. Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, will be the featured speaker.

The Arizona Memorial Visitor Center will hold a concurrent observance at the center that will be open to the public.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the Navy will pay special tribute to civilians who survived the Pearl Harbor attack, with a memorial service at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Rear Adm. Barry McCullough, commander, Navy Region Hawai'i, also will pay tribute to the 49 civilians who lost their lives.

Wreaths will be presented by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Honolulu Police Department and the Honolulu Fire Department. The public is invited to the Punchbowl service.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Punchbowl, AARP Hawai'i and the Veterans History Project will honor veterans with a candle-lighting ceremony. About 1,700 candles will be lighted to honor America's veterans, who are dying at a rate of about 1,700 each day.

Also on Sunday, special historic boat tours of Ford Island will be offered by the USS Arizona Memorial. In addition to the usual orientation briefing and shuttle boat to the memorial, three limited-seating boat tours will be offered by park rangers.

"From Fishponds to Battleships" will begin at 10 a.m. and look at Pearl Harbor's importance to Native Hawaiians and strategic significance to the U.S. military. At 11:30 a.m., "Query As to Why" will attempt to answer questions about the Dec. 7 attack. At 1 p.m., "Early Warnings on Dec. 7, 1941" will explore aspects of the attacks, including what went wrong the morning of the attack.

Advance registration is recommended for these tours. Reservations will be accepted until noon today. To register, call 422-2771, ext 128.

Other events include:

• Burial at sea for Chief Yeoman Guy Pierce, who was aboard the USS Utah during the attack. His ashes will be interred within the hull of the Utah at 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.

• The Barbers Point Navy League observance at 7:45 a.m. Sunday to honor the Marines killed in the attack. The ceremony will be at the memorial plaque at Barbers Point Golf Course.

• Burial at sea for Chief Gunner's Mate Ben Begley, who was aboard the USS Dobbin during the attack. The ceremony will be at 4:45 p.m. at the USS Utah Memorial.