PEARL Harbor Day 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Japan's sneak attack on the US Navy Base in Hawaii.

The honor, courage and sacrifice of the 2,403 lives lost and 1178 injured is acknowledged around America.

When is Pearl Harbor Day?

The U.S. commemorates Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day every year on December 7. 

On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans and the American public will come together to remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. 

The 80th anniversary of the bombing on Pearl Harbor will be observed with special ceremonies.

On December 3, President Joe Biden asked others to honor the patriots who perished and defended America.

He said: "I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave warriors that day and remember their sacrifices.  I ask us all to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unthinkable day.

"Our Nation remains forever indebted to all those who gave their last full measure of devotion eight decades ago."

The first Pearl Harbor Day was held in 1994, after the United States Congress designated December 7 as Pearl Harbor National Remembrance Day, during Bill Clinton’s presidency. 

Is Pearl Harbor Day a national holiday?

Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday, meaning government offices, schools and businesses stay open. 

This means Americans will continue to go to work, and mail and other services will be running as normal. 

But throughout America, the flag will be flown at half-staff until sunset to honour those who died in the WWII attack on the U.S Military base in 1941. 

Some organizations may hold special events to commemorate those killed and injured in the attack and there will be a live-streamed service at  the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Hawaii. 

How is Pearl Harbor Day marked?

Every year on December 7, WWII veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors commemorate the attack with services across the U.S.

The theme for the 2021 celebration theme is Valor, Sacrifice, and Peace.

Activities will include a wreath presentation from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii and a Freedom Bell Ringing at the USS Bowfin.

There will also be a performance of the Pearl Harbor Mass Band, a USS Oklahoma Memorial Ceremony on Ford Island, and participation by top American leadership from all branches of government. 

Ahead of the anniversary, a ceremony was held at Pearl Harbor to honor the 58 servicemen who died aboard battleship USS Utah, the first ship hit in the attack.

Members of the U.S. Navy, veterans, friends and family members stood as the names of those who died were read out, each accompanied by a toll of a bell. A trumpet was then played near the site of the sinking.

A number of other remembrances organised by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy will be held to mark the day.

What happened at Pearl Harbor?

On December 7, 1941, at 7.55am local time, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. 

The first wave of attack bombed hangars and over 300 parked aircrafts on Oahu’s airfields. 

Torpedoes were also launched against US warships in Pearl Harbour. 

Four battleships were hit early on in the attack, including the USS Oklahoma. 

The USS Arizona was also sunk, killing some 1,000 men trapped inside. 

After two hours, the attack was over and every battleship in the harbor had been seriously damaged.

But because the water was shallow all but two battleships were recovered and rebuilt.

During the attack, 2,403 Americans were killed and a further 1,000 were injured. 

The attack on Pearl Harbor took the Americans – who were not then involved in WWII – completely by surprise. 

But Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku had spent months planning the attack with the aim to destroy America’s Pacific Fleet and destroy morale in the U.S. Navy. 

The plan was to prevent America from fighting back as Japanese forces began to advance on other targets across the South Pacific.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor would drive the United States into World War II – a conflict that ended with Japan’s surrender after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

An estimated 140,000 of Hiroshima's 350,000 population were killed in the nuclear blast, and at least 74,000 died in Nagasaki.

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