PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — More than 2,000 people at Pearl Harbor and many more around the country are marking the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II.
The USS Michael Murphy, a recently christened ship named after a Pearl Harbor-based Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan, sounded its ship's whistle today to start a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., marking the exact time the bombing began in 1941.
Crew members lined the edge of the Navy guided-missile destroyer as it passed the USS Arizona, a battleship that still lies in the harbor where it sank. Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 fighter jets flew overhead in a special "missing man" formation to break the silence.
Among those gathered for the ceremony were about 50 survivors of the attack.
Edwin Schuler, of San Jose, Calif., said he remembered going up to the bridge of his ship, the USS Phoenix, to read a book on a bright, sunny Sunday morning in 1941 when he saw planes dropping bombs.
"I thought: 'Whoa, they're using big practice bombs,' I didn't know," said Schuler, 91.
Schuler said he's returned for the annual ceremony about 30 times because it's important to spread the message of remembering Pearl Harbor.