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Pearl Harbor dead remembered on 71st anniversary

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012
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Online, Pearl Harbor became a popular topic on Facebook and other social networks, trending worldwide on Twitter and Google Plus as people marked the anniversary with status updates, personal stories of family and photos.

The Navy and National Park Service, which is part of the Interior Department, hosted the ceremonies held in remembrance of the 2,390 service members and 49 civilians killed in the attack.

Friday's event gave special recognition to members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, who flew noncombat missions during World War II, and to Ray Emory, a 91-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who has pushed to identify the remains of unknown servicemen.

The ceremony also includes a Hawaiian blessing, songs played by the U.S. Pacific Fleet band and a rifle salute from the U.S. Marine Corps.

President Barack Obama marked the day on Thursday by issuing a presidential proclamation, calling for flags to fly at half-staff on Friday and asking all Americans to observe the day of remembrance and honor military service members and veterans.

"Today, we pay solemn tribute to America's sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu," Obama said in a statement. "As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright — whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today, or the heart of the country they kept strong and free."

Daniel Inouye, Hawaii's senior U.S. senator and a member of an Army unit of Japanese-Americans who volunteered to fight in World War II, said the Pearl Harbor attack evoked anger, fierce patriotism and racism.

"Our way of life has always, and will always be, protected and preserved by volunteers willing to give their lives for what we believe in," the Democrat said.

The Navy and park service will resume taking visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial, which sits atop the sunken battleship, after the ceremony.