PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, in coordination with the National Park Service (NPS) and the Pearl Harbor Foundation (PHF), hosted the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Kilo Pier, Dec. 7.
Nearly 200 World War II veterans, 32 of which were Pearl Harbor survivors, traveled to Oahu for the week-long series of events throughout the first week of December to honor the valor and sacrifice of America’s service members and civilians in World War II.
The ceremony began with a moment of silence and the presentation of colors by the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard color guard, with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band performing the national anthem, before a prerecorded message from President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was played.
“Dec. 7, 1941, still that day that lives in infamy 80 years later,” said Biden. “We must honor those who perished and salute the courage of the greatest generation who solidified our nation and values in the world.”
Following the presidential message, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) performed a pass-in-review before a Hawaiian blessing performed by Kahu Kordell Kekoa.
Guest speakers for the ceremony included Thomas C. Leatherman, superintendent, National Park Service, and Rear Adm. Timothy J. Kott, commander, Navy Region Hawaii..
“Veterans, it is truly an honor to welcome you back to Pearl Harbor,” said Kott. “We extend our ‘Aloha’ and deep appreciation in recognition of your selfless service and sacrifice on this day in 1941, and all of the years that followed.”
World War II veterans, including survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, attended the commemoration ceremony.
The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, served as the keynote speaker for the event where he detailed the courage and patriotism of the veterans and local civilians who fought that day.
“We gather today to remember all of those that we lost on that grimmest day,” said Del Toro. “We also gather to honor the bravery and skill of all who fought back, who saved lives and those who persevered.”
The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun rifle salute by Marines assigned to Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3 and the playing of Echo Taps by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band.
Dec. 7, 2021, marks the 80th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Oahu. The U.S. military, State of Hawaii and National Park Service are hosting a series of remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served throughout the Pacific Theater. Today, the U.S.-Japan Alliance is a cornerstone of peace and security in a free and open Indo-Pacific region.