Each year on December 7, Americans observe National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to honor the 2,400 U.S. military service members and civilians who died during the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force’s attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition to the casualties incurred during the Pearl Harbor attack, more than 1,000 Americans were injured that day.
From 7:55 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941, more than 350 Japanese aircraft dropped bombs on the Pearl Harbor naval base and other U.S. military installations throughout the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Japanese traveled more than 3,400 miles to launch their attack and strategically planned it in two phases, with about 45 minutes between the two phases. The attack sank two U.S. Navy battleships, the USS Arizona and the USS Utah, and destroyed 188 aircraft.
The Japanese military planned the surprise attack in hopes that it would deter the United States from increasing its military influence in the Pacific. Instead, the day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II – a war that the U.S. engaged in for four more years.
In 1994, the United States Congress designated December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in recognition of the considerable American sacrifices that were made on December 7, 1941.
Each year, the National Park Service and the United States Navy host the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony, and 2020 will mark the 79th ceremony. Although plans for the 2020 ceremony are still uncertain due to COVID-19, it is typically held on the Ceremonial Lawn of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and includes the following remembrance events:
- A moment of silence that is observed at 7:55 a.m., the time when the Japanese began the first phase of their attack on Pearl Harbor
- A ship rendering pass-in-review honors to the USS Arizona and all Pearl Harbor survivors
- A missing man flyover, conducted by the U.S. Air Force fighter squadrons and the Hawaii Air National Guard
- Music performed by the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band
- A memorial prayer
- A Hawaiian blessing
- Wreath presentations
- A rifle salute by the U.S. Marine Corps
- A vintage aircraft flyover
- A performance of Echo Taps by two buglers to recognize both the victims and survivors of the attack
- The ringing of the USS Arizona bell
Although National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday, it is a special day of solemn remembrance for all Americans. This National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, let us all recognize the service of our veterans and show appreciation for the sacrifices they made for our country. As communities across America prepare to observe National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, start to think of ways you can show your respect on December 7. Some ideas include:
- Fly an American flag at half-staff from sunrise to sunset in honor of the military service members and civilians who died during the Pearl Harbor attack
- Write a thank you note to a family member, friend or neighbor who is either an active-duty American military service member or a veteran
- Attend a National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony in your city or town
- Stream the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony live from Pearl Harbor
- Learn more about World War II military heroes by reading a book or an online resource such as Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation”
At Carrot Top Industries, we will join Americans across the country as we lower our American flag to half-staff on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. In doing so, we will show our respect and thanks as we honor all active duty and retired military personnel for their service.
If you are in need of either an American flag or a military flag for your upcoming National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day activities, we invite you to contact our Customer Care Professionals at 800-628-3524, shop online or send us your product needs by email or through our Contact Our Team online form.
Photo: Battleship Missouri Memorial and Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. View from the shoreside visitor center of the Arizona Memorial toward Ford Island.