WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichitans marked the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with a brief remembrance ceremony in Veterans Memorial Park in downtown.
The Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and other locations in Hawaii killed 2,403 service members and civilians and was a defining moment leading to U.S. entry into the war.
A Christmas wreath was placed on the Pearl Harbor Survivors Monument as a group of veterans gathered to salute and remember the fallen. The memorial is located along the river.
“This is a significant anniversary, 80 years, and it is important to remember because of all those that fought in World War II for the United States, only about 2% are alive today and a very small fraction of that are Pearl Harbor survivors, I think there’s probably less than 10 or 12 survivors of Pearl Harbor overall,” said John Offerman, Veterans Memorial Park Board incoming chairman.
Meanwhile, in Washington, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the World War II Memorial in the nation’s capital.
Joe Biden touched a wreath and saluted. The wreath contained a wild sunflower, the state flower of Kansas, in honor of former Sen. Bob Dole, a war veteran who was a driving force in getting the memorial built on the National Mall and who died Sunday at age 98.
The first lady laid a bouquet of flowers at the base of the memorial below the New Jersey pillar and softly touched a wall, where she and the president spent a moment. The bouquet was in honor of her father, Donald Jacobs, who served as a U.S. Navy signalman in the war, the White House said.
The Bidens then paused at the Pacific arch on the southern side of the memorial plaza for one last moment of reflection before departing.