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Friday marks 77th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

(NBC) (18 NEWS) - Friday, Dec. 7 marks the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy bombed the U.S.naval base in a preemptive action to prevent the U.S. Pacific fleet from interfering with Japan's planned military actions in Southeast Asia. 

Eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged in the strike, and four ships were sunk.

2,403 Americans were killed, and another 1,178 were injured.

The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor led to the United States' entry into World War II.

77 years later, and a handful of the already small group of survivors, live to tell the tale. 

However, 2018 will be the first year that none of the survivors who were on board the USS Arizona during the attack will be able to attend the annual commemoration ceremony.

Lou Conter, Don Stratton, Ken Potts, Lonnie Cook and Lauren Bruner are all in their nineties. Health restrictions and doctors' orders are keeping the remaining survivors at home.

In 2017, only three of the survivors were able to attend the ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Hawaii. 


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