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Thousands to commemorate 'Everlasting Legacy' of Pearl Harbor on 81st anniversary

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Thousands will gather for events commemorating the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor Wednesday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Thousands will gather for events commemorating the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor Wednesday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Thousands of people will gather Wednesday in Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the attack that threw the United States into World War II.

On Dec. 7, 1941, 2,403 Americans were killed when Japanese warplanes attacked the naval base. Despite this, the U.S. and Japan have become allies after the war ended.

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"From the death and destruction at Pearl Harbor came victory over the forces of fascism," President Joe Biden said in a statement. "Fierce battles with the Axis powers gave way to diplomatic partnerships with strong allies. And from the darkness of World War II came the light of liberty and the establishment of a rules-based international order."

With that in mind, Pacific Historic Parks said the theme for the 81st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is "Everlasting Legacy," according to Hawaii News Now.

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Organizers said the focus is the importance of remembering Pearl Harbor and how the "Greatest Generation saved us from tyranny and brought up peace through reconciliation."

A commemoration ceremony at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial will begin Wednesday morning local time. Later in the day, there will be a parade on Kuroda field. Nearly 2,000 marchers, 60 vehicles, six floats and 10 bands are expected to take part in the parade.

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Last year, about 40 Pearl Harbor survivors and 110 World War II veterans attended the 80th Remembrance Ceremony at Kilo Pier in Honolulu.

RELATED UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022

The attack famously sank multiple battleships -- including the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS West Virginia and USS California -- and directly prompted the United States to enter World War II.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most significant events of the 20th century and effectively forced the United States to enter WWII.

"A Japanese dive bomber, torpedo plane and parachute raid on the great American naval and air base [caused] heavy loss of life and property damage in an unprovoked assault which precipitated a general war in the Pacific," United Press, the forerunner to UPI, reported on the day of the attack.

RELATED Navy report: Human error caused fuel spill that poisoned Pearl Harbor water

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