PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) -- About 2,500 gathered at Pearl Harbor on Saturday to remember those killed in the 1941 Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.
The crowd observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began 72 years ago.
A vintage World War II-era airplane - a 1944 North American SNJ-5B - flew overhead to break the silence. The Hawaii Air National Guard has used its fighter jets and helicopters to perform the flyover for many years, but federal budget cuts prevented it from participating this year.
About 50 survivors returned to Pearl Harbor for the ceremony.
"I come back to be with my comrades - meet the ones who are still alive, and we're going fast," said Delton Walling, who was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania at the time of the attack.
The Navy and National Park Service co-hosted the ceremony, which was open to the public. Their theme for the event, "Sound the Alarm," explores how Americans answered a call to duty in the wake of the attack.
The current U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., said the U.S. remembers the warning from those who survived.
"We remember Pearl Harbor, we are vigilant, and we are ready to fight tonight and win," Harris said. "Not only are we poised to respond to the first notes of the alarm bell, we are also doing everything possible to keep those alarms from sounding in the first place."
Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia will deliver the keynote address.
The Vietnam War veteran is currently secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which is responsible for managing overseas cemeteries for fallen American troops.
Later in the day, Pearl Harbor survivors will join military and government officials in a parade through Waikiki.
EDITOR'S NOTE - On Dec. 7, 1941, Eugene Burns, AP's chief of bureau in Honolulu, couldn't get out the urgent news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew the U.S. into World War II, because the military had already taken control of all communication lines. In Washington, AP editor William Peacock and staff got word of the attack from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's press secretary. In the language and style used by journalists of his era, including the use of a disparaging word to describe the Japanese that was in common use, Peacock dictated the details of the announcement. Seventy-two years after their original publication, the AP is making the dispatches available to its subscribers.
WASHINGTON - White House says Japs attack Pearl Harbor.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (AP) - President Roosevelt said in a statement today that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from the air.
The attack of the Japanese also was made on all naval and military "activities" on the island of Oahu.
The president's brief statement was read to reporters by Stephen Early, presidential secretary. No further details were given immediately.
At the time of the White House announcement, the Japanese ambassadors, Kichisaburo Nomura and Saburo Kurusu, were at the State Department.
WASHINGTON - Second air attack reported on Army and Navy bases in Manila.
First lead Japanese
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - (AP) - Japanese air attacks on the American naval stronghold at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and on defense facilities at Manila were announced today by the White House.
Only this terse announcement came from President Roosevelt immediately, but with it there could be no doubt that the Far Eastern situation had at last exploded, that the United States was at war, and that the conflict which began in Europe was spreading over the entire world.
This disclosure had been accepted generally as an indication this country had all but given up hope that American-Japanese difficulties, arising from Japan's aggression in the Far East, could be resolved by ordinary diplomatic procedure.
Second lead Japanese
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - (AP) - Japanese airplanes today attacked American defense bases at Hawaii and Manila, and President Roosevelt ordered the Army and Navy to carry out undisclosed orders prepared for the defense of the United States.
Announcing the president's action for the protection of American territory, Presidential Secretary Stephen Early declared that so far as is known now the attacks were made wholly without warning - when both nations were at peace - and were delivered within an hour or so of the time that the Japanese ambassador had gone to the State Department to hand to the secretary of state Japan's reply to the secretary's memo of the 26th.
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