On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the event that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would live in infamy, turns 70 years old: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The landmark anniversary of the attack that triggered the United States' involvement in World War II will be marked in Arizona with a program hosted by the Secretary of State's Office at the Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. "Reflections of Pearl Harbor" will feature speeches and numerous veterans organizations.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m. , the commemoration will start as the Pearl Harbor memorial flag arrives at the state capitol's rotunda with honor guard which will be "piped" by a Navy Boatswain's call.

The flag ceremony will be followed by the Pearl Harbor remembrance at Wesley Bolin Plaza at 10:55 a.m., the time of the attack in Hawaii.

The 70th anniversary comes during a time when the average age of a World War II veteran is late 80s. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 1,000 World War II veterans have died each day in recent years.

During the Pearl Harbor attack, 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 were wounded.

All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. There also were 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed.

Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

State Historian Marshall Trimble will be the keynote speaker for Wednesday's event and numerous other veterans groups will participate in the commemoration.

Never-seen before artifacts from Pearl Harbor and the Valley's veterans who served during the attack also will be on display at the Arizona Capitol Museum.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6533 or msakal@evtrib.com

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