PHOENIX — An Arizona veterans organization will honor the 80th anniversary of the deadly Pearl Harbor attacks on Tuesday with a remembrance ceremony at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in downtown Phoenix.
Prior to the event, which is open to the public and hosted by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, H5 helicopters will land at 10:05 a.m. after escorting special guests, U.S. Air Force Maj. Fannie Griffin McClendon, who was part of the famous “Six-Triple-Eight Central Postal Directory Battalion” and Erlinda Gallegos Avila, an original Rosie the Riveter.
The Arizona National Guard’s 108th Army Band performs a musical preshow at 10:30 a.m. and will provide the musical backdrop for the official program which begins at 10:55 a.m., coinciding with local time when the Japanese military launched a surprise attack which killed 2,403 US servicemen, including 68 civilians.
The United States entered World War II three days after the attack.
A flyover of four World War II fighter biplanes led by the Stearman Group kicks off the official program, which will include remarks from Governor Doug Ducey and Navy Cmdr. Kevin Khal.
Veterans’ service organizations and patriotic groups across the state will also lay memorial wreaths at the anchor of the USS Arizona in remembrance of the attack, according to a news release from the Department of Veterans Services. arizona.
The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association began the celebration in 1958, with the ceremony now sponsored by the Arizona Department of Veterans Services and planned by the Pearl Harbor Day Committee.