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79 years later, nation remembers attack on Pearl Harbor

The last Hampton Roads Pearl Harbor survivor died in 2019.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a date which will live infamy."

Seventy-nine years ago today, December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor.

Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged. One-hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.

Monday, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Navy held a virtual remembrance ceremony.

"The example of perseverance and courage under fire that led to that ultimate victory was forged here, 79 years ago, by the heroes who endured the horror of that attack," said RADM Robert Chadwick, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii.

"Those sailors fought with honor, courage and went above and beyond the call, selflessly taking great risk to defend our shores," said ADM John Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "We honor their service, we remember their sacrifice, and we pledge to continue striving for a better, safer world."

Meanwhile, 4,800 miles away, in Richmond, the Virginia War Memorial held a virtual ceremony to honor the 36 Virginians who died that day.

"Every December 7th, we like to stop for a few minutes to remember those Virginians that paid the ultimate sacrifice on December 7th, remember what Pearl Harbor meant, not only for America, but for Virginia," said Clay Mountcastle, the Virginia War Memorial director.

Last year, Hampton Roads lost its last living Pearl Harbor veteran when 97-year old Paul Moore passed away.