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U.S. marks 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attacks


10:10, December 08, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government, military and veteran groups held a number of events Wednesday to remember 2,400 sailors and marines who perished exactly 70 years ago when the Japanese launched a sneak aerial attack on some 200 U. S. ships moored at Pearl Harbor, with president Barak Obama hailing survivors for their tenacity.

Three thousand participants, including some 120 veterans who survived the early morning attack on a fleet of U.S. warships, land bases and air strips by squadrons of Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes, observed a moment of silence at an event held at a visitor center run by the National Park Service.

Survivors who served aboard USS Arizona, USS Wheeler and other sunken ships were called to stand up to be recognized by servicemen and civilians who gathered on the lawn overlooking a white memorial built above the sunken USS Arizona to witness the solemn occasion.

The moment of silence was observed at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, exactly the time when Japanese bombs rained down on an unsuspecting U.S. Navy, sinking four battleships, along with three cruisers, three destroyers and two other types of ships. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed. Casulties numbered 2,402, and 1,282 sailors and marines were wounded during the Dec. 7 1941 attack.

The then U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the day "a date which will live in infamy," and declared war against Japan on the following day.

Proclaiming Wednesday as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, U.S. President Obama praised veterans, saying: "Their tenacity helped define the Greatest Generation and their valor fortified all who served during World War II."

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