The Latest: Guests observe moment of silence at Pearl Harbor

The Latest on a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.(all times Hawaii):

8 a.m.

Thousand gathered at Pearl Harbor bowed their heads for a moment of silence as a remembrance ceremony for those killed in the Japanese attack 75 years ago got underway.

The USS Halsey sounded its whistle to start the moment at 7:55 a.m. — the same moment Japanese planes began their assault on Dec. 7, 1941.

F-22 fighter jets flying in formation overhead broke the silence afterward.

Wednesday's ceremony is being held on a pier across the harbor from where the USS Arizona sank during the raid, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines. The ship's casualties accounted for almost half of the more than 2,300 servicemen killed in the attack.

There's a clear blue sky over the harbor as the ceremony gets underway.


7:50 a.m.

A 95-year-old veteran from Columbus, Ohio, is visiting Pearl Harbor for the first time since 1945. Veterans advocates raised money to pay for Milton Mapou's (MAY-poh) trip.

He and other survivors returned to Pearl Harbor on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack that drew the U.S. into World War II.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Mapou was getting ready to sit down for breakfast on board the USS Detroit when he heard an explosion. He went topside to see a plane coming in low. It dropped a torpedo but missed the Detroit.

Later, Mapou shattered a leg during the war when a kamikaze plane sunk his ship and cut it in half between Okinawa and Japan.


5: 28 a.m.

President Barack Obama in Washington issued a statement Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama join Americans in "remembering those who gave their lives" on Dec. 7, 1941.

More than 2,300 service people died that day.

Obama said "we can never repay the profound debt of gratitude we owe to those who served on our behalf."

Thousands, including servicemen and women and members of the public, are expected to attend a ceremony at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday to mark the anniversary.

The president said he will visit the U SS Arizona Memorial later this month with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.


9:25 p.m.

Surprise, fear, anger and pride.

That's what Pearl Harbor survivor Jim Downing recalls about the attack that plunged the U.S. into World War II.

Downing plans to return to Pearl Harbor Wednesday with other survivors to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack that left more than 2,300 service people dead.

Thousands of servicemen and women and members of the public are also expected to attend the ceremony.

Downing, a 103-year-old resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, served on the USS West Virginia, which lost 106 men.

He says he spent two hours fighting fires and checking the name tags of the dead so he could write their families personal notes about how they died.