Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the act of war that led to the U.S. entering World War Two.
Hundreds of memorial events will be taking place across the States to mark the December 7, 1941 attack. The largest, fittingly, will be held on the Pacific island of Oahu, Hawaii, where the attack took place.
A shrinking number of Pearl Harbor survivors and World War Two veterans will be amongst the crowd on Oahu – around 3,000 attendees are expected at the event. Together, they will remember Pearl Harbor while overlooking the submerged remains of the USS Arizona Memorial, the fallen battleship on which 1,179 men lost their lives.
A minute of silence will be held at 7:55 in the morning – the exact time that Japan’s Imperial Navy began the surprise attack.
Meanwhile, a wreath-laying ceremony will be conducted in Washington, at the World War Two Memorial on the National Mall. President Obama has released a tribute to those who died, announcing “their tenacity helped define the greatest generation.”
Japan’s unprovoked attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor resulted in four U.S. battleships sinking, hundreds of warplanes being destroyed, and more than 2,400 service men, women and civilians dying. The day after the attack, the U.S. declared war on Japan. Another three days passed before Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S.
Will you be taking part in any Pearl Harbor memorial events? Let us know in the comments!