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Arizona Memorial

December 7, 2012 by  

Arizona Memorial, Ceremonies on Friday at the Arizona Memorial at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Hawaii will mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Friday will be a somber day at Hawaii’s biggest tourist attraction, the Arizona Memorial at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Early morning ceremonies will mark the day 71 years ago when Japanese torpedo bombers launched a surprise attack that devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet moored at Pearl Harbor and killed some 2,400 Americans. The attack sent the USS Arizona to the bottom of Pearl Harbor and catapulted the United States into World War II.

The day will be marked with military bands, a gathering of Pearl Harbor survivors and World War II veterans, and a rifle salute.

My interest in the military, which was heightened when I worked at Stars and Stripes in Europe, is one of the reasons that the memorial was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Hawaii a little over a year ago.

Indeed, peering at its marble wall with the names of the 1,177 sailors and Marines who perished aboard the Arizona was a very moving experience. I imagine the experience could be even more heartfelt on the anniversary of the attack.

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