Pearl Harbour dead honoured in ceremony reduced by pandemic

The US military streamed the ceremony live online for survivors and others unable to attend in person.

Pearl Harbour dead honoured in ceremony reduced by pandemic

US servicemen and women and National Park Service officials gathered at Pearl Harbour to remember those killed in the attack — but elderly survivors stayed home to pay their respects from afar to avoid health risks from the coronavirus pandemic.

The USS Arizona battleship bell rang at 7:55am, the minute the attack began 79 years ago, to start a moment of silence.

F-22 jets then flew overhead in missing man formation.

Pearl Harbor Anniversary
A military colour guard during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour (Caleb Jones, Pool/AP)

The US military streamed the ceremony live online for survivors and others unable to attend in person.

“I think what we see today here is the resolve, despite a pandemic, for us to be able to pay our respects, to thank the greatest generation,” said Adm John Aquilino, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, in his keynote address.

“It also is a reminder to all that nothing will stop us.”

Marines performing a rifle salute wore black masks during the ceremony, which featured a smaller crowd than in typical years.

Adm Aquilino highlighted the story of Doris Miller, a mess attendant on board the USS West Virginia, who carried wounded shipmates to safety and manned a 50-calibre gun returning fire until he ran out of ammunition.

He continued to pull wounded sailors to safety even after an order to abandon ship. The Navy awarded Mr Miller the Navy Cross for his heroism in 1942. Earlier this year, the Navy named its newest aircraft carrier after him.

“Today, a grateful nation reflects upon those who went above and beyond. We honour their service. We remember their sacrifice, and we pledge to continue striving for a better and safer world,” Adm Aquilino said.

Altogether more than 2,300 US troops died in the attack.

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