NATIONAL PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY
Each year on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A further 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft.
On Aug. 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Every year, remembrance events are held at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, culminating in a commemoration ceremony on Dec. 7.
On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died as a result of the attack on U.S. military forces in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday – government offices, schools, and businesses do not close. Some organizations may hold special events in memory of those killed or injured at Pearl Harbor.
In 1990, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s medal and was awarded to anyone who was in the U.S. Armed Forces and who was present in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and participated in combat operations that day against the attack. The medal was also awarded to civilians who were killed or injured in the attack. A few years later, Congress amended the law to allow any person who was present in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and was involved in combat operations against Japanese military forces attacking Hawaii, to receive the award. In both instances, there was a limited time period to apply for the award, and it is no longer issued.
Pearl Harbor and Hawaii historic sites:
In Pearl Harbor:
- The USS Arizona, Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated on May 30, 1962 (“Memorial Day“), in honor of the 1,177 crew members who were killed. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.
- The USS Oklahoma, Memorial is in remembrance of a battleship that was sunk which lost 429 men on December 7, 1941.
- The USS Utah, Memorial, is in remembrance of a former battleship that had been converted to a target ship in 1931 (thus, at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack carried the designation of AG-16), that was sunk in the attack on December 7, 1941. A memorial to honor the crew including the 58 who died aboard the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship’s wreck, in 1972. The ship, along with USS Arizona, was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
- The USS Missouri, The surrender of the Japanese on the deck of the USS Missouri brought the end of World War II.
- The USS Bowfin, Submarine Museum and Park, is in remembrance of an American submarine that sunk 44 ships in World War II.