Attack on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor survivors gather and remember those lost in the attack

A few dozen survivors of Pearl Harbor are expected to gather Tuesday at the site of the Japanese bombing years ago to remember those killed in the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. 

Herb Elfring, , said he s glad to return to Pearl Harbor considering he almost didn’t live through the aerial assault. 

It was just plain good to get back and be able to participate in the remembrance of the day, Elfring told reporters over the weekend. 

Herb Elfring speaks with National Park Service workers in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Sunday, Dec., 7.  AP PhotoAudrey McAvoy

Elfring was in the Army, assigned to the st Coast Artillery, part of the California National Guard, on Dec., 7 . He recalled Japanese Zero planes flying overhead and bullets strafing his base at Camp Malakole, a few miles down the coast from Pearl Harbor. 

Elfring, who lives in Jackson, Michigan, said he has returned to Hawaii about times to attend the annual memorial ceremony hosted by the Navy and the National Park Service. 

Mae Krier, right, who worked at a Boeing plant during World War II making B-s and B-s, speaks at a news conference in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Sunday, Dec., 7 accompanied by Marian Wynn, left, who worked as a pipe welder during the war.  AP PhotoAudrey McAvoy

They will observe a moment of silence at 9 a.m., the same minute the attack began decades ago. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro is expected to deliver the keynote speech. 

The bombing killed more than 1,000, U.S. troops. Nearly half – or more, – were Marines and sailors serving on the USS Arizona, a battleship moored in the harbor. 

Several women who helped the war effort by working in factories came to Hawaii to participate in the remembrance this year. 

Mae Krier, who built B-s and B-s at a Boeing plant in Seattle, said it took the world a while to credit women for their work. 

Mae Krier, who worked at a Boeing plant during the war, speaks at a news conference in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Sunday, Dec. 7.  AP PhotoAudrey McAvoy

And we fought together as far as I’m concerned. But it took so long to honor what we women did. And so of course, I’ve been fighting hard for that, to get our recognition, said Krier. But it was so nice they finally started to honor us.  

This year s ceremony takes place as a strong storm packing high winds and extremely heavy rains hits Hawaii, flooding roads and downing power lines. Navy spokesperson Brenda Way told The in an email Monday that she has heard of no discussion of canceling the event because of the storms.