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Pearl Harbor survivors attend ceremony remembering 82nd anniversary of attack

Dec 07, 2023

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It has been 82 years since the Pearl Harbor attack, where over 2,400 service members and civilians were killed during a bombing that pushed the U.S. into World War II. In a proclamation, President Joe Biden declared that Dec. 7, 2023, is officially National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

“We honor the brave service members who — with the horrors of Pearl Harbor weighing on their hearts and the hopes of humanity resting on their shoulders — answered the call to defend freedom against the forces of fascism during World War II,” Biden said in the proclamation.

A ceremony was held on the field across from the USS Arizona Memorial. Only one member of the USS Arizona is alive: 102-year-old Lou Conter. Five Pearl Harbor survivors attended the ceremony, many of them also over 100 years old.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, of the 16 million who served in World War II, only around 120,000 were alive as of October, and approximately 131 die each day.

One survivor, a former sailor on the USS Dobbin, 103-year-old Ira “Ike” Schab shares his story with his family and student groups and has returned to Pearl Harbor multiple times.

Schab says he started doing this in order to “pay honor to the guys that didn’t make it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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