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article imageU.S. to celebrate anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 6, 2011 in World
Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese air raid on the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack destroyed ships and aircraft. More than 2,000 soldiers and sailors died and more than 1,000 were injured.
The Times of Trenton reported Mercer County marked the day with twenty-one gunshots fired in the afternoon in honor of the men and women who sacrificed their lives 70 years ago. Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, in a ceremony at the Catholic War Veterans Post 417, said:
“Today, we remember 2,300 Americans who gave up their lives on that day, so that we may enjoy a future free of fear. Seventy years ago, America got into a fight that gave us freedom around the world.”
The ceremony was attended by more than 100 veterans and their family members. U.S. Navy Reserve Capt. Stanley Winowicz, delivered the keynote address.
Ceremonies are being held all over the U.S.in remembrance of Pearl Harbor and local veterans are being honored. Members of local veterans organizations met in Marietta's Muskingum Park, Ohio, to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The anniversary of the attack will be marked in Owego village, New York, with ceremonies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in honor of victims of the attack. The state Department of Veterans Affairs will hold ceremonies on Wednesday at the Wisconsin Veterans Homes at King and Union Grove. Charleston Daily Mail reports a National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony will be held at noon Wednesday, at the intersection of Lee and Capitol streets, Charleston, West Virginia. Two F-15 jets from Mountain Home Air Force Base will provide a salute to veterans at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Historical Background
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
The attack was designed as preventive strike to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with the expansionist drive of Japan in the Southeast Asia.
Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes. The planes were launched from six aircraft carriers. The attack damaged all eight U.S. Navy battleships and sunk four. The attacks also sank three cruisers, three destroyers, anti-aircraft training ship and one mine layer. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed in the attack, including headquarters buildings. 2,402 Americans were killed in the attack and 1,282 wounded. The Japanese lost only 29 aircraft and five midget submarines. 65 Japanese servicemen were killed and one Japanese sailor captured.
The following day the United States declared war on Japan with popular support for isolationism suddenly disappearing in the profound shock of the attack on Americans.
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