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USS Midway Museum marks Pearl Harbor attack anniversary

It was 82 years ago on the island of Oahu that a sleepy Sunday morning turned into a day that lives in infamy.

The surprise attack plunged the U.S. into World War II and changed the course of the twentieth century.

In San Diego, the day was marked with the annual wreath-laying ceremony on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum — a ship itself named for a battle in the war that followed the attack.


David Koontz, the marketing director at the museum, said it's the third ceremony without battle survivors attending.

"I think it is really difficult to to finally come to the realization that those who survived Pearl Harbor aren't going to last forever," Koontz said. "The youngest Pearl Harbor survivors today are probably 99 years old. Intellectually, we understand that they're not with us. Emotionally, it's very difficult."

San Diego Pearl Harbor veterans Stu Hedley and Clayton Schenkelberg died in 2021 at ages 99 and 103.

Photos of the two men featured prominently at Thursday's ceremony. The event ended with a ringing bell ceremony, a wreath laying and a missing man flyover by vintage aircraft.

Koontz said he was encouraged by those who made time to attend.


"We had over 300 people here today," he said. "I saw some very young people ... so if we can have just a small opportunity to reinforce or educate some of the younger generation about how important it is to serve in the armed forces and the sacrifices made by so many people before them, we're really happy to be able to have that opportunity."