News24

Obama visits Pearl Harbour memorial

2011-12-30 13:16

Honolulu - President Barack Obama on Thursday paid homage at the memorial marking the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour 70 years ago, which pitched the United States into World War II.

Obama and his wife Michelle paused for a moment of silence at the memorial site of the sunken USS Arizona in his home state of Hawaii, where the names of 1 177 members of the ship who died in the attack are inscribed.

The president and first lady also dropped white and purple orchids onto the waters over the sunken battleship.

Obama did not make any public remarks during his visit on Thursday, which came as he took his annual Christmas and New Year vacation in his native state.

Earlier this month, Obama marked the December 07, 1941 attack with a statement exactly 70 years after Japanese planes swept low over the harbour on a date president Franklin Roosevelt declared would live in "infamy".

"Michelle and I join the American people in honouring the memory of the more than 2 400 American patriots - military and civilian, men, women and children - who gave their lives in our first battle of the Second World War," Obama said in a statement.

"We salute the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbour who inspire us still. Despite overwhelming odds, they fought back heroically, inspiring our nation and putting us on the path to victory," Obama said.

"They are members of that Greatest Generation who overcame the Depression, crossed oceans and stormed the beaches to defeat fascism, and turned adversaries into our closest allies."