Nearly 75 years ago, Imperial Japan launched a surprise military attack on United States military installations on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The main attack occurred at Pearl Harbor; however, other targets included Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, Ewa Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Naval Air Station, and Schofield Barracks.
The December 7, 1941 attack, known collectively as Pearl Harbor, took the lives of 2,008 Navy sailors, 218 Army soldiers and airmen, 109 Marines, and 68 civilians; left 1,178 wounded; and catapulted the United States into the deadliest conflict in human history. Over the course of December 7-8, 1941, Imperial Japan would also launch attacks on Midway, Wake Island, Guam, The Philippines, Malaya, and Hong Kong.
To mark this significant date in world history, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service will co-host a very special Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration on December 7th at 12:53 p.m. at the WWII Memorial.
The special ceremony will remember and honor those killed and wounded in the attacks and pay tribute to a generation of people who helped to free the world from tyranny. Additionally, the event will kick-off a four-year WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration which will be highlighted by more than 60 ceremonies, commemorations of battle anniversaries, and other special events to mark this historic period in our nation’s history and to honor the heroic men and women of the Greatest Generation.
As part of the ceremony, Pearl Harbor Survivors, World War II veterans, and other dignitaries will lay wreaths at the "Freedom Wall" of the National World War II Memorial.
Senator John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. Additionally, Senator McCain will be joined by his 104-year-old mother, Mrs. Roberta McCain, in presenting the United States of America wreath at the Memorial. Senator McCain’s father and grandfather, the first father-son pair ever to achieve four star admiral rank in the U.S. Navy, both served in the Pacific Theater of Operations during WWII.
Elliott (Toby) Roosevelt III, the great-grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, will read President Roosevelt’s December 8, 1941 “Infamy Speech” and offer personal remarks on behalf of the Roosevelt family.