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Survivors gather to remember Pearl Harbor attack

Pearl Harbor survivors at the ceremony honoring the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.REUTERS

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii —Veterans who survived the Pearl Harbor attack that launched the United States into World War II attended Sunday’s 73d anniversary ceremony, at a site overlooking a memorial atop the sunken battleship USS Arizona.

Wearing purple orchid leis, about 100 Pearl Harbor and World War II survivors attended the ceremony, many with the help of canes, wheelchairs, and motorized scooters. Many of them arrived well before the sun came up.

Governors Jan Brewer of Arizona and David Ige of Hawaii were among the several thousand people who marked the anniversary of the Japanese attack.

The ceremony also included a Japanese peace prayer, a Hawaiian blessing, and a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began. F-22s from the Hawaii Air National Guard 199th Fighter Squadron and Air Force 19th Fighter Squadron conducted a flyover.


Keynote speaker General Lori Robinson, commander of Pacific Air Forces, told the crowd about four survivors of the USS Arizona, which sank with 1,177 sailors and Marines.

Don Stratton, 92, of Colorado Springs, and Lauren Bruner, 94, of La Mirada, Calif., were two of six men who escaped the inferno that engulfed the forward half of the ship, despite burns to more than 60 percent of their bodies.

John Anderson, 97, of Roswell, N.M., was ordered off the ship during the attack, but he did not want to leave behind his twin brother, Delbert. Even though he was forced into a small boat that took him to Ford Island, he commandeered an empty boat and returned to the Arizona to rescue three shipmates. But he never found his brother.

Associated Press