National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is celebrated annually on December 7th. The day commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during World War II. 2,403 American servicemen lost their lives and over 1200 servicemen were injured during this attack. It isn’t a federal holiday but the day is a special observance for most people. 

What: 78th National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration Ceremony
Where: Pearl Harbor National Memorial, 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, HI 96818
When: Saturday, December 7, 2019, Time: 7:45 AM, Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Japanese warplanes attacked naval base located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii at 7:55 am on December 7, 1941. More than 2,400 servicemen were killed and 1,200 others were wounded, rendering most of the Pacific Fleet of no use. Five battleships, three destroyers, three cruisers, three destroyers, and one mine-layer was attacked and destroyed in this attack. More than 200 aircraft and 159 other planes were also damaged. The damage that Japan faced in the attack on Pearl Harbor was comparatively lesser. It destroyed only thirty planes and five midget submarines and less than 100 Japanese soldiers were killed.

The History of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7th is declared by The United States Congress to be a holiday called National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. This title was formed on August 23, 1994, when they issued article Public Law 103-308. This day is also called Pearl Harbor Day. In order to honor those Americans who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the American flag is flown at half-staff until sunset.

Facts About Pearl Harbor

  • The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted for about 110 minutes – from 7:55 am to 9:45 am.
  • Japanese launched the attack in two set of waves about 45 minutes apart from each other.
  • The Japanese traveled more than 3,400 miles to attack the naval base at Pearl Harbor.
  • Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo led the Japanese forces.
  • Japanese fleet comprises of more than 350 planes
  • The attack was codenamed as “Operation Hawaii” and “Operation Z”.
  • Airfields at Wheeler Field, Hickam Field, Schoefield, Ewa Field, and Bellows Field were struck by the attack.

Pearl Harbor Memorials And Honors

Several memorials have been founded to honor the servicemen who lost their lives during the Pearl Harbor attack.

The USS Arizona Memorial – It is a marble memorial, founded in 1962, and is built over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona.

The USS Utah – Another memorial founded on the northwest shore of Ford Island in 1972. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

The U.S Congress launched the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, 50 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Any veteran of the U.S military who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor can be awarded this medal. Civilians who were injured or killed during the attack on the naval base can also receive this medal.

Commemorating National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

The current President of the United States has passed a declaration according to which the U.S Flag should be displayed on all government buildings and American homes on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Day. This flag should be flown at half-mast until sunset in honor of those who sacrificed their lives during the attack. Various associations also conduct special events commemorating the attack. Activities such as luncheons, parades, and special television programming also take place on the day. Many different wreath-laying ceremonies also occur on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.