PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy on Wednesday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with a moment of silence and remembrance ceremony.
The ceremony started at 12:45 p.m. EST and the moment of silence 10 minutes later -- 7:55 a.m. local time -- marking the time the first Japanese planes flew over the harbor on that infamous Sunday morning.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched the surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor deep-water U.S. naval base in Hawaii's Oahu island. More than 2,300 U.S. servicemembers and dozens of civilians were killed. The attack propelled the United States into World War II.
The Japanese Empire was ultimately dismantled and replaced with a constitutional government following the war's conclusion in 1945 -- which was precipitated by the United States' nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagazaki.
Despite troubled history, the United States and Japan have grown into important allies of global significance. Even more recently, both nations have attempted to mend the wounds of war.
In May, U.S. President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where more than 80,000 people were killed in the U.S. nuclear bomb attack to force a Japanese surrender. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday said he would visit Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to victims there. Abe will become the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor.
"We must never repeat the tragedy of the war," Abe said. "I would like to send this commitment. At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the U.S."
The United States and Japan further extended offerings of peace on Tuesday when representatives held the traditional "Blackened Canteen" ceremony aboard the USS Arizona Memorial.
"The annual 'Blackened Canteen' ceremony centers on a single artifact -- a canteen recovered after a June 1945 mid-air collision of two American bombers over Shizuoka, Japan -- and the actions of a Japanese farmer who sought to promote peace and reconciliation after the bombing raid that killed 2,000 people in his city," the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.
Dr. Hiroya Sugano, the caretaker of the tradition, along with a member of the Japanese military and a member of the U.S. Air Force poured "bourbon whiskey from a World War II-era canteen into the hallowed waters below."
Pouring of whiskey recovered from a canteen from B29 that collided with a B29 bomber over Japan 1945 observes continued US-Japanese peace. pic.twitter.com/ERRzl1wmeG— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) December 6, 2016