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Annual Pearl Harbor attacks remembrance ceremony to take place Tuesday in Charlestown Navy Yard

Cassin Young III, a retired Navy pilot (left), and Michael Creasey, superintendent of the National Parks of Boston, during a wreath laying ceremony aboard the USS Cassin Young at the Charlestown Navy Yard in 2019. They took part in the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The National Park Service and USS Constitution will hold their annual Pearl Harbor remembrance on Tuesday in the Charlestown Navy Yard in front of the USS Cassin Young — the 80th anniversary of the attacks that killed more than 2,400 US servicemen and civilians.

The ceremony, which will be live-streamed on the Constitution’s Facebook page, is open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. The event will include laying a wreath to commemorate those killed during the attacks. A gun salute from the USS Constitution will conclude the event, according to a statement from the Constitution and the park service.


The ceremony has been an annual tradition for at least 45 years, said John Curwen, a spokesman for the park service in Boston.

“Being able to mark this occasion is something we take pride in doing, and acknowledging and thanking the veterans in the Greater Boston area,” Curwen said.

The event will attempt to showcase some of the “stories of service, sacrifice, heroism displayed on that day,” Curwen said.

“This is a historic event, which even to this day sort of shapes how the Navy conducts operations,” he said.

Curwen said the park service is not aware of any living survivors of the attacks in Greater Boston. A World War II veteran was invited to attend the ceremony, he said.

Francis Emond, a 103-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who was born in Rhode Island, recalled on Monday he was 22 when the attacks began on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

“We all had a battle station command and a job to do there and then all of a sudden we were attacked and we saw these fires coming in and finally noticed the red spots on them after they were shooting at us and dropping bombs and torpedoes,” he said. “We knew right about then that we were in trouble and being attacked.”


“It took about a minute to realize all that and then we went to battle stations and we waited to see what was going to happen to us,” Emond, who lives in Pensacola, Fla., said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.

Emond, who was stationed aboard the USS Pennsylvania, said his job that day was to help pick up dead and wounded soldiers and civilians.

“At the beginning of the second wave, we received a large bomb head down the middle of the ship. I think they killed about 21 and injured the same amount,” he said. “In the afternoon we were issued rifles just in case they did invade the island.”

The anniversary, he said, sparks memories of friends aboard the USS Arizona who were killed during the attacks.

“Every year it brings to mind thoughts of them and their families who had to suffer with their loss,” he said.

More than 2,400 US servicemen and civilians were killed when Japanese aircrafts ambushed eight US Navy battleships, sinking four of them, at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Oahu, Hawaii at 7:35 a.m. Hawaii time, The Boston Globe reported. The attack prompted the United States to enter World War II the next day.

The Cassin Young is named for Captain Cassin Young, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack. The ship engaged in seven battles in the Pacific during the World War II, and survived two kamikaze hits, according to the park service statement.


“Cassin Young remains to this day as a testament to the crews who sailed her, and the men and women who built and maintained her,” the statement said.

A separate commemoration is planned for Tuesday at the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Oahu, where the Everett High School’s “Crimson Tide” marching band is set to represent Massachusetts, according to the school’s Twitter account.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett wrote on Facebook that the “dedication and commitment of the band is clear.”

“It’s time to show Hawaii what Everett is all about,” he wrote.

Jeremiah Manion of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.