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U.S. military marks Pearl Harbor anniversary

12-08-2011 10:02 BJT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military on Wednesday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, with ceremonies taking place both in Washington and at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta participated in a wreath-laying at the Navy Memorial here. In a message to survivors of the attack, Panetta said in memories of that day, the country continues to "draw determination and conviction to protect our freedoms, to sacrifice for our fellow citizens, and to serve a purpose larger than self."

He said like Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 terror attacks also inspired a new generation into military duty.

At Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, U.S. Navy also held a ceremony on the anniversary with the presence of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

On the previous say, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation naming Wednesday as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and urged all Americans to fly their flags at half staff in memory of those killed that day.

In a Wednesday statement, Obama paid tribute to the more than 2,400 military personnel and civilians killed in the country's first battle in WWII.

He said as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to an end, the administration "resolve to always take care of our troops, veterans and military families as well as they've taken care of us."

The U.S. military is facing drastic cuts in spending, and the Pentagon has already started implementing cuts of over 450 billion U.S. dollars in ten years. Military health care, retirement accounts, number of personnel and weapons programs are among likely targets for the cuts.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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