December 7, 1941. Every American then alive recalls exactly what he or she was doing when the news broke that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, the catalyst that brought the United States into World War II. Those who are younger have learned about the events of the fateful day, when more than 2,000 people died, and a dozen ships were sunk. Here, in what is still a key Pacific naval base, the attack is remembered every day by thousands of visitors. In recent years, the memorial has been the site of reconciliation ceremonies involving Pearl Harbor veterans from both sides. There are five distinct sights in Pearl Harbor, but only two are part of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. The others are privately operated. It's possible to make reservations for the national park sites at www.recreation.gov.
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