On 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack, survivors gather to remember those lost

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A few dozen survivors of Pearl Harbor gathered Tuesday at the site of the Japanese bombing 80 years ago to remember those killed in the attack that propelled America into World War II. was launched.

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Herb Elfring, 99, said he was delighted to return to Pearl Harbor, as he almost didn’t survive through the air raid.

“It was great to be able to come back and participate in the remembrance of the day,” Elfring told reporters over the weekend.

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Elfring was in the army, assigned to the 251st Coast Artillery, which was part of the California National Guard on December 7, 1941. He recalled the Japanese Zero planes flying overhead and shooting down their army base at Camp Malacole, a few miles from the seaside. Pearl Harbor.

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Attends a Veterans Anniversary Celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

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Elfring, who lives in Jackson, Michigan, said he has returned to Hawaii about 10 times to attend annual ceremonies organized by the Navy and the National Park Service.

This year about 30 survivors of the war and about 100 other veterans of the war joined him.

He witnessed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the same minute the attack had started decades earlier. Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro is expected to deliver the keynote address.

The bombing killed more than 2,300 American soldiers. About half – or 1,177 – were Marines and sailors serving on the USS Arizona, a battleship in port.

Marines give rifle salute at Pearl Harbor's 80th anniversary celebration
Marines salute at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

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Many women who helped the war effort by working in factories traveled to Hawaii to take part in the remembrance this year.

My Carrier, which built the B-17 and B-29 at the Boeing plant in Seattle, said it took the world a while to give the women credit for their work.

“And as far as I am concerned, we fought together. But it took us so long to honor what we women did. And so, of course, I’m working hard to get my recognition,” said Carrier, who is now 95. “But it was great that he finally started giving us respect.”

This year’s celebrations take place in the form of a storm with strong winds and extremely heavy rain in Hawaii, flooding roads and downing power lines. Navy spokeswoman Brenda Way told the Associated Press in an email on Monday that she had not heard any discussion of the program being canceled because of the storm.

Veteran Wallace A.  Johnson attends ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hikama
Veteran Wallace A. Johnson attends the ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

A Navy sailor plays the tap at the ceremony
A Navy sailor plays the tap.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

On December 7, 1941, the USS Shaw exploded after being hit by bombs.
On December 7, 1941, the USS Shaw exploded after being hit by bombs.
(The Associated Press)

USS Chung Hoon passes the USS Arizona Memorial during anniversary celebrations
The USS Chung Hoon passes the USS Arizona Memorial during the ceremony.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

WWII veterans Fanny Griffin McClendon, left, and Erlinda Gallegos.
WWII veteran Fanny Griffin McClendon, a member of the African American Women’s Army Corps, and Erlinda Gallegos, a native Rosie the River, chat Tuesday at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day celebration at the USS Arizona Anchor Memorial in Phoenix.
(Ross D. Franklin / The Associated Press)

Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II Navy veteran David Russell, 101, Albany, NY.  Of
Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II Navy veteran David Russell, 101 of Albany, NY, shows his commemorative bag to two military personnel before the ceremony.
(Marco Garcia / The Associated Press)

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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden Visit the World War II National Memorial
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visit the World War II National Memorial on Tuesday to mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
(Ivan Vucci / The Associated Press)

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