ON December 7, 1941, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, leading to the deaths of 2,403 Americans. 

The attack marked a turning point in World War II with America joining the war shortly after the attack. But how is Pearl Harbor remembered in the U.S. today? 


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Pearl Harbor is remembered every year on December 7Credit: Getty Images

When is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day?


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

On Monday, December 7, 2020, 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 service will also commemorate the 1,178 people who were injured, the sinking of the navy battleships the USS Arizona and the USS Utah, as well as the 188 destroyed aircraft.

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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. 


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2,403 service men and civilians were killed in the 1941 attack in HawaiiCredit: Getty Images

Is it 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. 


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World War II veterans across the world will remember those who died on World Harbor DayCredit: Getty Images

How is Pearl Harbor Day marked in the U.S.? 

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

This year, the commemoration theme for the day is “Above and Beyond the Call” and there will be a ceremony held at the Pearl Harbor visitor centre in Hawaii.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pearl Harbor service this year will be closed to the public to protect the veterans attending the event. 

Instead, the event will be live streamed via the National Park Service Facebook page at 11.30am on Monday, December 7. 


However, the USS Arizona Memorial Programs will be open and running every 30 minutes from 12pm- 3pm.

On December 4, President Donald Trump issued a statement, commemorating those who fell at Pearl Harbor.

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He said: “I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. 

“I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.”


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Donald Trump encouraged Americans to 'observe this solemn day of remembrance'Credit: Getty Images

Is Pearl Harbor Day celebrated in Japan?

Pearl Harbor Day is not celebrated in Japan. 

However, on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in 2016, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the US naval base at Pearl Harbor to offer “sincere and everlasting condolences" to the victims of Japan’s attack on the base. 

Accompanied by Barack Obama - who was the US President at the time - Mr Abe said: "We must never repeat the horrors of war again, this is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken.”


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The Japanese PM also paid tribute to those who lost their lives - many still entombed in the wreckage of the sunk battleship, the USS Arizona. 


Mr Abe vowed reconciliation and peace, saying: "To the souls of the US servicemen who lie aboard the USS Arizona, to the American people, and all people around the world, I pledge that unwavering vow.” 

Mr Abe called the renewed alliance between America and Japan an "alliance of hope".


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