VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- It was 76 years ago on Thursday that the United States was thrust into World Two, following the surprise attack on American forces at the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it, "a day which will live in infamy."
At Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek there was a 21 gun salute, and a ceremonial laying of a wreath.
Looking on: 96 year old Paul Moore, a former fire controlman fist class aboard the USS West Virginia.
He was the only living Pearl Harbor survivor to attend the remembrance ceremony.
"I miss a many a person," he said. " My buddies. I wish they were here."
The sneak attack happened quickly, and without warning. The Imperial Japanese Navy sent in 353 planes in the first wave alone.
They hit Hickam Field and Wheeler Field, and they came into Pear Harbor taking out the Navy fleet. A second wave of 171 planes came in from the East.
In total, it lasted 90 minutes.
Before it was over, the U.S. had lost four battleships, three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti aircraft training ship, a minelayer, 188 aircraft, and most significantly, 2,402 citizens.
"The history of the world would be forever altered, and the nation's resolve cemented," said Captain Bill Johnson, Little Creek's Executive Officer.
Every December 7th, survivors of survivors also attend. Among them: Gerry Chebetar, son of the late Frank Chebetar who believed this day must forever be honored
"It's such an integral part of the history of the United States especially the military, and keeping the country strong, keeping it united, and letting thee world to know we will defend ourselves and we will always be there to defend our allies," said the younger Chebetar.
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