NEWS | Dec. 28, 2015

U.S. 3rd Fleet Commemorates National Pearl Harbor Day

By By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class K. Cecelia Engrums

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- SAN DIEGO (NNS)- More than 200 Sailors assigned to Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet gathered to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 07.

Nearly seven and a half decades ago bombs filled the sky over Honolulu, Hawaii as Japanese forces launched an attack on the U.S., claiming more than 2,400 American lives and much of the Pacific Fleet.

The attack, which was intended to weaken the U.S., instead unified the nation. In reaction to the attack, more than 16 million courageous Americans banded together to fight for freedom and defend the country.

"Today, we remember all those who have lost their lives defending this great nation," said Rear Adm. Russell Allen, deputy commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "The heroism and the devotion of those patriots helped shape our country and inspire future generations. Their personal stories and accounts provide a chance for us to reflect upon and understand what a rich heritage Sailors today share with our veterans."

The annual remembrance ceremony included videos of witness accounts from Pearl Harbor survivors. Fire Controlman 1st Class Brandon D. York attended the ceremony and expressed the pride and privilege he feels to be able to follow in the footsteps of the veterans who defended this country during Pearl Harbor.

"On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day we remember our heritage, and I am so proud of how far we have come as a nation," said York. "The unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor left our fleet severely damaged, but thanks to the perseverance of the many heroes who served, our Navy has never been stronger."

On August 23, 1994, United States Congress designated Dec.7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is tradition to fly the flag of the United States at half-mast until sunset in honor of the fallen service members.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit
www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.