Oklahoma veterans gather for Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony Tuesday morning

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s been 80 years to the day since more than 2,400 Americans lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“December 7, 1941, will be forever remembered, and we will never forget what happened that day,” said Cedric L. Jessup- Commodore of Strategic Communications Wing 1.

A somber ceremony Tuesday morning.

Members of The Fleet Reserve Association (Fra) USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Memorial Branch 268 together with a formation of sailors of strategic command wing one and members of other military organizations gathered near the Oklahoma State Capitol for a ceremony on Pearl Harbor Day at the USS Oklahoma Memorial.

“We were doing this ceremony here in remembrance of all of our shipmates who lost their lives on December 7, 1941 aboard the USS Oklahoma, which our chapter is named after. We are the USS Oklahoma BB-37,” said Jessie Whitney, Commander of Fleet Reserve Association branch 268.

The ceremony took place right at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7.

“0800 is when we were invaded, so we felt like we should keep that time,” Whitney said.

It included a wreath-laying, a “2-bell” ceremony, and a gun salute by the honor guard of the Del City American Legion Post 73, to pay tribute those who lost their lives 80 years ago.

“The battle of Pearl Harbor was a defining moment in U.S. history and has really made our military into what it is today,” Jessup said.

It was on December 7, 1941, when hundreds of Japanese bombers attacked the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard.

21 ships of the pacific fleet were sunk or damaged.

Among the ships, the USS Arizona, which lost more than 1,100 crewmen.

Also the USS Oklahoma which lost 429 of its crew.

Rescue crews work on the upturned hull of the 29,000 ton battleship USS Oklahoma December 8, 1941. The ship capsized after being blasted by Japanese warplanes December 7, 1941. Holes were burned through the hull to permit the rescue of some of the men trapped below. Credit: Library of Congress Source: US Navy
Rescue crews work on the upturned hull of the 29,000 ton battleship USS Oklahoma December 8, 1941. The ship capsized after being blasted by Japanese warplanes December 7, 1941. Holes were burned through the hull to permit the rescue of some of the men trapped below. Credit: Library of Congress Source: US Navy

More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack and over 1,000 more were injured.

The attack drew the United States into World War II until it ended in 1945.

“You have to know your history so you don’t repeat it and that’s an important piece,” Jessup said. “Remembering and never forgetting what happened so we will always stand ready just in case.”

Veterans and the public were invited to attend the ceremony.

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