U.S. observes 80th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The USS Arizona Memorial can be seen from a shuttle boat during the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry/File Photo

By Kia Johnson

(Reuters) -The United States will mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Tuesday.

The attack on Dec. 7, 1941, shook a country that had been so focused on World War Two in Europe that it had lost sight of the threat posed by Japan, according to historians.

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 at Pearl Harbor to honor the 58 servicemen who died aboard battleship USS Utah, the first ship hit in the attack.

“On the morning of December 7, 1941, in the first few minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Utah was hit by two torpedoes, which caused serious flooding,” said U.S. Navy Commander Jason Adams.

“Chief Tomich stayed in the engine room, keeping the boiler as stable as possible to allow his sailors to get off the ship. Utah capsized killing 58 men in 12 minutes,” Adams said, referring to Peter Tomich, the ship’s chief watertender. Tomich died onboard the ship.

Members of the U.S. Navy, veterans, friends and family members stood as the names of those who died were read out, each accompanied by a toll of a bell. The bugle call “Taps” was then played on a trumpet near the site of the sinking.

Several other remembrances organised by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy will be held to mark the day.

The bombing was famously dubbed “a date which will live in infamy” by then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The United States defeated Japan in August 1945, days after U.S. atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

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