Rising to the Challenge
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, the National Park Service and the United States Navy hosted the 76th Anniversary National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration Ceremony to honor and remember the 2,390 American casualties lost during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and on the island of Oahu, December 7, 1941.
The ceremony began at 7:50 a.m. on the Ceremonial Lawn at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. A crowd of over 2,000 was in attendance, including Pearl Harbor Survivors, WWII veterans, family members, and local dignitaries. Steve Twomey, author of Countdown to Pearl Harbor, delivered the keynote.
The theme, “Rising to the Challenge,” highlighted events during the first year after the attack, as the United States rose to face challenges – both at war and on the home front – in order to achieve greater peace, freedom, and democracy in the world, including in Japan and in Europe.
Additional ceremonies during the week included:
- Bronze Star with Valor award presentation ceremony to honor Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph L. George
- Interment of Estellee Birdsell on the USS Arizona
- USS Utah Ceremony with the interment of USS Utah crewmember Harry Hohstadt and memorial service for Lt. Cmdr. Clark Simmons
- Blackened Canteen Ceremony
- Premiere of "Journey Home to the USS Arizona," a documentary by Tim Gray and the World War II Foundation
- USS Oklahoma Ceremony
- Book signings with authors Steve Twomey and USS Arizona Survivor Don Stratton