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Pearl Harbor Day: A survivor recalls the Day of Infamy (video)

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The USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the ship, now forms a centerpiece of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, an historic site administered by the National Park Service.

'BODIES EVERYWHERE'

Gore's vessel, the Phoenix, was anchored a short distance from the stretch of harbor known as Battleship Row, where the Arizona was moored when it was hit.

"I'll never forget watching the ... USS Arizona battleship jumping up out of the water, landing and rolling on its side," Gore said. "There were bodies everywhere. Brooms floating in the water, canisters."

Long after the two-hour surprise attack had ended, the base remained on edge, he recounted. "Everyone was keyed up. After the attack, at night, it wasn't safe to be out. People were shooting at shadows."

The Phoenix, among a handful of light cruisers and other vessels that got out of the harbor during or just after the attack, emerged unscathed.

Besides the nearly 2,400 who were killed, the attack left 1,178 people wounded, sank or heavily damaged a dozen U.S. warships and destroyed 323 aircraft, badly crippling the Pacific fleet.

As has been the practice of past anniversary ceremonies, visiting veterans, relatives and dignitaries will bow their heads for a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. on Wednesday, the time when the attack began, as military jets soar overhead in a "missing-man" formation.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon will render a salute to the fallen crew of the Arizona, and the morning service will end with a "walk of honor" by more than 100 Pearl Harbor Survivors and other World War Two veterans, many of them in their late 80s. The gathering is expected to include seven of the last known 18 survivors from Arizona's crew.

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