USS Pearl Harbor
"Nations Battle Cry"
Remember Pearl Harbor! Echoes During San Diego Remembrance Ceremony
151207-N-QC631-057 SAN DIEGO (Dec. 07, 2015) Ben Valeu, a Pearl Harbor survivor, rings a bell during a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum. The bell is rung for the Two-Bell Ceremony that honors Pearl Harbor survivors who have passed away in the present year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gerald Dudley Reynolds/Released)
'Remember Pearl Harbor!' Echoes During San Diego Remembrance Ceremony
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The crew from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) hosted the 74th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Dec. 7.

Six survivors from the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack, currently ranging from age 90 to 97 years old, were present during the remembrance, which encompassed a Two-Bell Ceremony, prayers and official remarks and a wreath toss into the San Diego Bay.

"It is our tradition to honor all of our survivors that have passed on this previous year with this Two-Bell Ceremony," said Stu Hedley, a 94-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who was age 20 at the time of the attack, serving aboard the battleship USS West Virginia (BB 48). "There is no written documentation or knowledge that identifies the origin of this beloved ritual except that it is unique to Sailors of the sea-the clearly sounding of two bells is a time to pause and reflect on our shipmates [who have perished in battle]."

Cmdr. Judd Krier, commanding officer of USS Pearl Harbor and keynote speaker, echoed the powerful and emotionally charged battle cry of 'Remember Pearl Harbor!' as a symbol of the heroism of the Pearl Harbor survivors 74 years ago. 
"For these survivors, their commitment to remembrance does not stem from a place of pride for past achievements but rather from an unrelenting dedication to duty and to the United States of America," said Krier. "They spread the story of that tragic day in the hopes that we can all remember." 

After initial pushback stemming from naming a U.S. warship after a losing battle, the naming of USS Pearl Harbor signified a triumphant legacy of valor, comradery, perseverance and victory over enemies, he said. 'Remember Pearl Harbor!' is and will always be, this nation's battle cry.

"The attack on Pearl Harbor is this generation's Sept. 11 and will remain in our history books because they happened on our soil," said Seaman Nina Kettles, an undesignated Sailor from USS Pearl Harbor. "These are the events that the American people should never forget."

Krier said that having the opportunity to speak with these survivors, hear their stories and relive their history has been the greatest and most humbling experience of his naval career.

"Pearl Harbor survivors rest assured that the men and women of the USS Pearl Harbor strive daily to honor your legacy of bravery, heroism and ultimately, of victory," he said. "'Remember Pearl Harbor!' keeps America alert, reminding us that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

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