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Dec 7, 1:46 PM EST

The Latest: Jets break silence for Pearl Harbor anniversary

AP Photo
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Interactives
A Pearl Harbor Survivor Remembers
Photos: Pearl Harbor 1941

HONOLULU (AP) -- The Latest on the 76th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack (all times local):

8:15 a.m.

About 20 survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor have gathered to remember those killed 76 years ago in the Japanese aerial assault.

Thursday's ceremony began with a moment of silence in honor of those who died. It happened at 7:55 a.m. - the same time the attack began on Dec. 7, 1941.

Four F-22 fighter jets from the Hawaii Air National Guard broke the silence, with one plane peeling off from the group to symbolize the servicemen still missing.

About 2,000 officials, military members and others are attending the ceremony.

Herbert Elfring remembers hearing bombs go off at Pearl Harbor. He was 19 and serving with the Army's 251st Coast Artillery down the road. The Jackson, Michigan, man is now 95.

More than 2,300 servicemen died in the attack.

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7:45 a.m.

Pearl Harbor survivor Gilbert Meyer says he has returned to the site of the 1941 Japanese bombing because of his shipmates from the USS Utah. He says he comes to pay his respects and say a prayer for them.

The 94-year who lives near Lytle, Texas, says the anniversary of the attack reminds him that he and the other survivors are lucky they got off their ships.

He and other survivors are gathering Thursday at Pearl Harbor to remember fellow servicemen killed in the early morning raid 76 years ago.

Meyer was a fireman first class on Dec. 7, 1941 when a torpedo hit the port side of the Utah. He says he's still alive because he happened to be on the starboard side. The 18-year-old fireman first class later served in the battles at Attu, Kiska, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He witnessed Japan's surrender in 1945 from the deck of the USS Detroit in Tokyo Bay.

He says he thinks about his shipmates and how they were killed. He says it reminds him that they were lucky to get off the ship "and we've made a good country for them."

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5:25 a.m.

Survivors will gather at the site of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to remember fellow servicemen killed in the early morning raid 76 years ago.

About 20 survivors are expected to attend Thursday's event at a grassy spot overlooking the harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. A couple thousand members of the public, Navy and National Park Service officials will join them.

Author Steve Twomey will deliver the keynote address. He wrote "Countdown to Pearl Harbor," which examines the 12 days leading up to the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

A moment of silence will mark the time the attack began.

More than 2,300 servicemen were killed in the assault carried out by Japanese airplanes. Nearly half were on the USS Arizona battleship, which exploded and sank after being bombed.

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