MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Amid the echoes of taps, the crackle of a rifle salute and a warning to be vigilant about future sneak attacks, more than 400 people gathered Wednesday on the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown to mark the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into World War II.
Dozens of veterans, including four survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, gathered on the hangar deck of the retired carrier that dates to the conflict. The Yorktown was commissioned in 1943 and was named for a carrier that sank during the Battle of Midway.
During the ceremonies, a ship’s bell was rung 25 times for the men from South Carolina who died during the attack in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Wreaths were also tossed into the waters of Charleston Harbor in remembrance.
Retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Beasal warned that the nation must remain vigilant for future attacks.
He said that China has been flexing its military might and “it’s no secret that the Chinese military forces are probing our public and private computer networks every day,” including those of NASA and the Department of State.
“It does not take much imagination to think that a future Pearl Harbor might be a lightning-fast cyber-attack which immediately cripples the nation’s economy as well as our armed forces,” he warned. Such an attack, he said “could be completely devastating and nation-ending.”