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Delton E. Walling, a Pearl Harbor attack survivor and former sailor on the USS Pennsylvania, shares a laugh with Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, the Navy's chief of chaplains, before a ceremony honoring the crew of the USS Utah, Dec. 6, 2016, on Ford Island, Hawaii. A torpedo attack destroyed the ship, killing 64 men, and the sunken wreck remains at the bottom of Pear Harbor.
Delton E. Walling, a Pearl Harbor attack survivor and former sailor on the USS Pennsylvania, shares a laugh with Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, the Navy's chief of chaplains, before a ceremony honoring the crew of the USS Utah, Dec. 6, 2016, on Ford Island, Hawaii. A torpedo attack destroyed the ship, killing 64 men, and the sunken wreck remains at the bottom of Pear Harbor. (Bonnie Grower/Special to Stars a)
Delton E. Walling, a Pearl Harbor attack survivor and former sailor on the USS Pennsylvania, shares a laugh with Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, the Navy's chief of chaplains, before a ceremony honoring the crew of the USS Utah, Dec. 6, 2016, on Ford Island, Hawaii. A torpedo attack destroyed the ship, killing 64 men, and the sunken wreck remains at the bottom of Pear Harbor.
Delton E. Walling, a Pearl Harbor attack survivor and former sailor on the USS Pennsylvania, shares a laugh with Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, the Navy's chief of chaplains, before a ceremony honoring the crew of the USS Utah, Dec. 6, 2016, on Ford Island, Hawaii. A torpedo attack destroyed the ship, killing 64 men, and the sunken wreck remains at the bottom of Pear Harbor. (Bonnie Grower/Special to Stars a)
James Taylor speaks to an audience gathered for a ceremony on Ford Island, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2016, in remembrance of the USS Utah, whose wreck lies beneath the waters just off the island where it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on Dec. 7, 1941. Rendering honors are Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of the Valor in the Pacific National Park, right, and Gilbert Meyer, a survivor of Utah, third from left.
James Taylor speaks to an audience gathered for a ceremony on Ford Island, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2016, in remembrance of the USS Utah, whose wreck lies beneath the waters just off the island where it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on Dec. 7, 1941. Rendering honors are Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of the Valor in the Pacific National Park, right, and Gilbert Meyer, a survivor of Utah, third from left. (Bonnie Grower/Special to Stars a)
Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, holds an urn containing the cremated remains of John Anderson during a ceremony Dec. 7, 2016, at the USS Arizona Memorial. Anderson survived the 1941 attack on the Arizona, and chose to have his ashes interred in the submerged ship.
Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, holds an urn containing the cremated remains of John Anderson during a ceremony Dec. 7, 2016, at the USS Arizona Memorial. Anderson survived the 1941 attack on the Arizona, and chose to have his ashes interred in the submerged ship. (Bonnie Grower/Special to Stars a)
Park Service and Navy divers display an urn holding the cremated remains of John Anderson before placing it inside the submerged hull of the USS Arizona. Interment in the hull of USS Arizona Memorial is a privilege afforded only to Arizona survivors.
Park Service and Navy divers display an urn holding the cremated remains of John Anderson before placing it inside the submerged hull of the USS Arizona. Interment in the hull of USS Arizona Memorial is a privilege afforded only to Arizona survivors. (Bonnie Grower/Special to Stars a)
Former Air Force Staff Sgt. Durward Swanson reflects during the 75th commemoration of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Hickam Field during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. Swanson was assigned to Hickam Field as a security forces guard. After the attack, he served as a B-17 Flying Fortress crew chief. During the Battle of Midway, his aircraft was hit and crash-landed in the water. Seven of the 10-man crew were killed. Swanson received severe injuries and spent nine months in the hospital. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart and an honorable discharge.
Former Air Force Staff Sgt. Durward Swanson reflects during the 75th commemoration of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Hickam Field during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. Swanson was assigned to Hickam Field as a security forces guard. After the attack, he served as a B-17 Flying Fortress crew chief. During the Battle of Midway, his aircraft was hit and crash-landed in the water. Seven of the 10-man crew were killed. Swanson received severe injuries and spent nine months in the hospital. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart and an honorable discharge. (Nathan Allen/U.S. Air Force)
Veterans from the 1941 surprise attack wave to well-wishers lining the streets of Waikiki Beach the evening of Dec. 7, 2016, during the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii.
Veterans from the 1941 surprise attack wave to well-wishers lining the streets of Waikiki Beach the evening of Dec. 7, 2016, during the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii. (Wyatt Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Veterans ride in a World War II-era jeep during the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, Dec. 7, 2016, at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.
Veterans ride in a World War II-era jeep during the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, Dec. 7, 2016, at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. (Wyatt Olson/Stars and Stripes)
Handlers of a giant inflated medal sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart take part in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, Dec. 7, 2016, in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. This year marked the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack.
Handlers of a giant inflated medal sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart take part in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, Dec. 7, 2016, in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. This year marked the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack. (Wyatt Olson/Stars and Stripes)
From left: Shiro Wakita, former World War II Imperial Japanese Navy pilot; Hiroya Sugano, director general of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club; Jack Detour, former colonel and WWII Army Air Force B-25 pilot; and Jerry Yellin, former captain and WWII Army Air Force P-51 pilot, pour bourbon into Pearl Harbor during the sixth-annual Blackened Canteen ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, Dec. 6, 2016. The canteen is a relic from an air raid over Shizauoka, Japan, in 1945, and the bourbon represents an offering to the fallen in the waters of Pearl Harbor.
From left: Shiro Wakita, former World War II Imperial Japanese Navy pilot; Hiroya Sugano, director general of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club; Jack Detour, former colonel and WWII Army Air Force B-25 pilot; and Jerry Yellin, former captain and WWII Army Air Force P-51 pilot, pour bourbon into Pearl Harbor during the sixth-annual Blackened Canteen ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, Dec. 6, 2016. The canteen is a relic from an air raid over Shizauoka, Japan, in 1945, and the bourbon represents an offering to the fallen in the waters of Pearl Harbor. (Somers Steelman/U.S. Navy)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HAWAII — For the scores of Pearl Harbor survivors and World War II veterans who took part in the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surprise attack, the past week has been a flurry of activity that would tire even the youngest of souls.

But the veterans — nearly all in their mid-90s and older — eagerly attended commemorations at the USS Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma memorials, Hickam and Ewa fields, Schofield Barracks, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Fort DeRussy Beach Park, the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade and others.

If any were exhausted, they didn’t often show it.

Families, friends and thousands of well-wishers hailed the now-small band of survivors for their valor and service in what will likely be their final major milestone of the “day of infamy” that changed the course of the nation.

news@stripes.com

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