Band Kia Johnson
December 6 (Reuters) – The United States will mark on Tuesday the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The Dec. 7, 1941, attack rocked a country that had been so focused on World War II in Europe that it had lost sight of the threat posed by Japan, historians say.
The attack killed 2,390 Americans, and the United States declared war on Japan the next day.
On a rainy Monday evening, a memorial ceremony was held in Pearl Harbor to honor the 58 service members who died aboard the battleship USS Utah, the first ship hit in the attack.
“On the morning of December 7, 1941, within minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Utah was hit by two torpedoes, which caused severe flooding,” said US Navy Commander Jason Adams.
“Chief Tomich remained in the engine room, keeping the boiler as stable as possible to allow his sailors to descend from the ship. Utah capsized, killing 58 men in 12 minutes”, Adams said, referring to Peter Tomich, the captain of the ship’s waters. Tomich died aboard the ship.
Members of the United States Navy, veterans, friends and family stood as the names of those who died were read, each accompanied by the sound of a bell. Jhe trumpets vsall “Taps” was then played on a trumpet near the sinking site.
Several other commemorations organized by the National Park Service and the US Navy will take place to mark the day.
The bombing was dubbed “a date that will live in infamy” by then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The United States defeated Japan in August 1945, days after the American atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
(Reporting by Kia Johnson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Karishma Singh and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
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