The Latest: Wreaths presented to honor Pearl Harbor fallen

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2016 5:36 PM
The Latest: Wreaths presented to honor Pearl Harbor fallen

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor (all times Hawaii):

12:45 p.m.

After a Pearl Harbor ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1941 attack, several dignitaries and officials rode boats to a memorial sitting over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona.

They presented wreaths in honor of those who died in the Japanese attack on the harbor 75 years ago.

Others giving wreaths included the USS Arizona Reunion Association and the consulate general of Japan.

Thousands of servicemen and women and members of the public attended the ceremony at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday to mark the anniversary. The ceremony was held on a pier across the harbor from where the Arizona sank.

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9:35 a.m.

U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris says those who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor never failed to stand for the national anthem.

His remarks Wednesday at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack generated a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd, with people whistling and hooting.

Thousands gathered for the event, held on a pier across the harbor from where the USS Arizona sank during the 1941 attack.

Harris told the crowd: "You can bet that the men and women we honor today - and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago - never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played."

In recent months, San Francisco 49ers quarter Colin Kaepernick and others have knelt through the national anthem to protest police brutality and the treatment of minorities, drawing criticism and acclaim alike.

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8:35 a.m.

Laura Stoller accompanied her adoptive grandfather, a Pearl Harbor survivor, to the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

She described her trip with 96-year-old Stan VanHoose of Beloit, Wisconsin, as "overwhelming in a wonderful way."

Before the ceremony, the two watched crowds of people jostling to get autographs from the survivors and pose for photos with them.

Stoller says it's fun to see the veterans get the recognition they deserve. She also is enjoying seeing the survivors reconnecting and sharing stories with each other.

VanHoose served on the USS Maryland.

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8 a.m.

Thousands gathered at Pearl Harbor bowed their heads for a moment of silence as a remembrance ceremony for those killed in the Japanese attack 75 years ago got underway.

The USS Halsey sounded its whistle to start the moment at 7:55 a.m. — the same moment Japanese planes began their assault on Dec. 7, 1941.

F-22 fighter jets flying in formation overhead broke the silence afterward.

Wednesday's ceremony is being held on a pier across the harbor from where the USS Arizona sank during the raid, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines. The ship's casualties accounted for almost half of the more than 2,300 servicemen killed in the attack.

There's a clear blue sky over the harbor as the ceremony gets underway.

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7:50 a.m.

A 95-year-old veteran from Columbus, Ohio, is visiting Pearl Harbor for the first time since 1945. Veterans advocates raised money to pay for Milton Mapou's (MAY-poh) trip.

He and other survivors returned to Pearl Harbor on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack that drew the U.S. into World War II.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Mapou was getting ready to sit down for breakfast on board the USS Detroit when he heard an explosion. He went topside to see a plane coming in low. It dropped a torpedo but missed the Detroit.

Later, Mapou shattered a leg during the war when a kamikaze plane sunk his ship and cut it in half between Okinawa and Japan.

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5: 28 a.m.

President Barack Obama in Washington issued a statement Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama join Americans in "remembering those who gave their lives" on Dec. 7, 1941.

More than 2,300 service people died that day.

Obama said "we can never repay the profound debt of gratitude we owe to those who served on our behalf."

Thousands, including servicemen and women and members of the public, are expected to attend a ceremony at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday to mark the anniversary.

The president said he will visit the U SS Arizona Memorial later this month with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

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9:25 p.m.

Surprise, fear, anger and pride.

That's what Pearl Harbor survivor Jim Downing recalls about the attack that plunged the U.S. into World War II.

Downing plans to return to Pearl Harbor Wednesday with other survivors to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack that left more than 2,300 service people dead.

Thousands of servicemen and women and members of the public are also expected to attend the ceremony.

Downing, a 103-year-old resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, served on the USS West Virginia, which lost 106 men.

He says he spent two hours fighting fires and checking the name tags of the dead so he could write their families personal notes about how they died.