In remembrance of those killed during the events of Pearl Harbor that launched the U.S. into World War II, more than 2,000 people attended a ceremony at the naval base on the 78th anniversary. A dozen survivors attended the event, the youngest being in their late 90’s. One Pearl Harbor survivor, Herb Elfring, 97, is the only member of his regiment still living, and being back, ‘reminded him of all the servicemen that passed ahead of him.’ Elfring was part of the California National Guard, assigned to the 251st Coast Artillery. They protected airfields, and on that tragic day, they did not expect an attack that morning. He recalls that when the Japanese Zero planes flew over to attack, he was reading a bulletin board at the edge of his barracks at Camp Malakole. It was only a few miles down from the harbor, and at first he only heard it. But as the Japanese closed in, he realized that just 15 feet away that strafing bullets were hitting the pavement.
Two Navy base shootings happened earlier that week before the ceremony, one being at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and the other at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.