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Pearl Harbor Anniversary of the 1941 Japanese Attack that Launched the U.S. into World War II

Pearl Harbor anniversary marks 72 years since the attack.

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding land is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — About 3,000 people are expected to gather at Pearl Harbor on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.

Pearl Harbor anniversaryAbout 70 World War II veterans and survivors of the Dec. 7 bombing plan to attend the morning ceremony on the shore overlooking a memorial to the USS Arizona battleship that sank during the attack.

The event will begin with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. There will be a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began 72 years ago. A guided missile destroyer will pass by and render honors to the USS Arizona and its crew.

The Navy and National Park Service are co-hosting the ceremony, which is open to the public. Their theme for the event, “Sound the Alarm,” will explore how Americans answered a call to duty in the wake of the attack.

Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

The Vietnam War veteran is now secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which is responsible for managing overseas cemeteries for fallen American troops.

The current U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. will also speak.

Later in the day, Pearl Harbor survivors will join military and government officials in a parade through Waikiki.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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