Bay Area honors veterans on 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area veterans marked the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Friday with a variety of events.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was the event that officially drew the U.S. into World War Two.

RELATED: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: A look back at December 7, 1941

On Friday night, a special ceremony to honor Pearl Harbor was held atop one of the Bay Area's highest peaks.

The beacon atop Mount Diablo was lit as it has been each year on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor since 1964.

The beacon was turned off during WWII as a defense measure so that if the Japanese invaded they could not use it as a landmark reference.

In Alameda, the USS Hornet museum hosted its annual ceremony to mark the "Day of Infamy"

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77 year ago the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor drawing the U.S. into World War Two. Friday the Bay Area honored its survivors and WWII Veterans.

Sailors, veterans and guests gathered to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice at Pearl Harbor. Speakers told stories of heroism including that of Morgan Hill resident Lawson Sakai.

The day after the Japanese attack killed 24-hundred people Sakai tried to enlist. He was rejected, because of his ancestry.

"'We don't want Japs in the Navy' they said," recalled Sakai. "You're not 1A, you're 4C. 4C means you're an enemy alien. Just like that, I wasn't a citizen anymore. "

Sakai later served in a "segregated" army unit for Japanese-Americans. He fought in Europe, received a Bronze Star and 4 Purple Hearts.

As part of the Pearl Harbor remembrance, the Hornet today hosted the opening a new exhibit, "Infamy: December 7, 1941."

The artifacts and photos are on loan from the National World War 2 Museum in New Orleans. The exhibit will be at the Hornet through January 16th.
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