PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tuesday marks the 69th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Forces in 1941. Ceremonies today commemorate and dedicate a new $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Ramsay Wharton was at Pearl Harbor and filed several live reports on Sunrise.
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
This year's Commemoration and Dedication theme is "A Promise Fulfilled," focusing on the new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument to create new, broadened experiences for visitors. The theme honors Pearl Harbor Survivors with the commitment and promise to educate and commemorate the history and heroes of the Pacific War with new resources and a broader National Park Service mission.
6:00 – 7:00 a.m. Shuttle Buses From Aloha Stadium Parking to Visitor Center
On December 7, parking for the morning Commemoration will only be available at the Aloha Stadium – Lower Halawa Lot. Enter through Gates 3 or 4. Shuttles from the Aloha Stadium parking lot to the Visitor Center will run from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Due to the large number of expected guests and continued construction on the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center parking lots, no public parking will be available at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center for the Ceremony. Public is advised to arrive early to allow time for parking, shuttle transportation and going through the security check at the Visitor Center. Only Pearl Harbor Survivors and WWII Veterans will be allowed to park at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Shuttles returning to the Aloha Stadium parking lot will run after the Ceremony from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Due to increased security, NO purses, backpacks, fanny packs, diaper bags, camera bags, luggage, or other items that provide concealment are allowed in the visitor center or on the memorial. Valuables should not be stored in vehicles. Bag storage is available nearby at the USS Bowfin.
6:00 a.m.: Visitor Center opens to Invited Guests.
6:30 a.m.: Visitor Center opens to the public.
7:00 a.m.: Last Shuttle Bus from Aloha Stadium Parking to Visitor Center
7:15 a.m.: All invited guests asked to be in their seats. All remaining seats will be offered to
the general public.
7:40 – 9:30 a.m.: 69th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration &
Dedication of Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Guest Speakers:
• Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
• Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN (RET)
• The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senate
• Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director, National Park Service
• The Honorable Thomas Strickland, Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife
and Parks, U.S. Department of Interior
• Hawaiian Blessing & Dedication of New Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
• Walk of Honor by Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Shuttle Buses from Visitor Center to Aloha Stadium Parking
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.: USS Arizona Memorial Public Tours
3:45 p.m.: Ceremonial Flag Lowering & Taps by National Park Service Ceremonial Honor
Guard – Front of Visitor Center
USS Oklahoma Memorial Commemoration
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend a special ceremony hosted by the National Park Service in honor of those who served on the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Memorial was officially dedicated on December 7, 2007. The Memorial is located on Ford Island, near Fox-5 Pier next to the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The Battleship Oklahoma was berthed along Ford Island on Dec. 7, 1941, and suffered the second greatest loss of life during the attack. The Memorial includes 429 marble columns symbolizing each of the crewmembers who lost their lives on that fateful day. Public wishing to attend the ceremony may catch a free shuttle departing every 15 minutes from the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park which is adjacent to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
USS Nevada Remembrance Ceremony
• Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hospital Point
The USS Nevada Memorial commemorates the actions of the USS Nevada during the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the attack, 57 crewmembers were killed in action defending their ship against Japanese air attacks on the morning of December 7, 1941. Two crewmembers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. 15 crewmembers were awarded the Navy Cross. Pearl Harbor survivors and veterans and their families are invited to attend the ceremony. Base access is required.
The Attack On Pearl Harbor (Courtesy: U.S. National Park Service)
Hawaiian Islands. At dawn, the six carriers launched their planes in two waves. The first wave of bombers and fighters struck Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. For two hours, the planes roared overhead raining a torrent of bombs and torpedoes on the unsuspecting American forces.
The ignition of the forward magazine by an Ariel bomb on the USS Arizona was so devastating; she sank to the bottom in just nine minutes.
Six battle-ready aircraft carriers and 25 support vessels made up the task force. The carriers launched a total of 350 aircraft to participate in the attack. This included fighters, dive bombers, torpedo bombers and horizontal bombers that participated in the attack.
Twenty-one vessels, including all eight first-line battleships, were sunk or damaged. One hundred seventy aircraft were destroyed and one hundred fifty were damaged.
Casualties Of The Attack:
On the American side, 2,388 servicemen and civilians were killed, including 1,177 on the USS Arizona. Only 337 of the Arizona crewmen survived.
Twenty-nine Japanese aircraft were lost. Fifty-five airmen were killed. Four midget submarines were sunk, and one was captured. Of the midget submarine crewmembers, nine were killed and one was captured and became America's first prisoner of war.