The 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was commemorated Saturday during a ceremony at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Norco.
Base personnel, along with veterans from Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Riverside and Norco, paid tribute to the more than 2,400 U.S. soldiers, sailors and Marines who died defending the Hawaiian naval installation from Japanese attackers on Dec. 7, 1941. The two-hour air assault thrust America into World War II.
Saturday’s public ceremony, titled “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” included a color guard presentation, flag salute and brief remarks by local officials.
“The attack on Pearl Harbor tested our resolve and shook the foundations of our nation,” Navy Chaplain Lt. Commander Diane Hampton said in an official statement regarding the anniversary. “We remember those lost, those unsuspecting souls who died giving the full measure of their devotion to God, country and loved ones. We also remember the Americans filled with an uncommon sense of patriotism that arose from the ashes of this tragedy and unhesitatingly volunteered to don the cloth of our nation and willingly go into harm’s way.”
Japanese torpedo bombers, dive bombers and fighters, altogether numbering more than 350 aircraft, arrived in two waves, permanently sinking two battleships, the USS Arizona and Utah. The Arizona’s losses totaled 1,177 — the highest of any ship in the harbor. Most of the military vessels that went down in the surprise attack were resurrected and deployed to fight again.
The Bellows, Hickam and Wheeler airfields were also bombed, as well as the installations at Ewa, Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay, inflicting major damage.
Imperial Japan carried out the attack in an attempt to cripple the U.S. Pacific Fleet as it sought domination over much of Asia.