Snafu mars Pearl Harbor 70th anniversary ceremony

December 7, 2011 - 9:25 PM
Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor survivors Preston Parham, left and Bill Temple, center, listen during Wednesday's Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, in Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A snafu marred the critical moment of silence at the Pearl Harbor ceremony Wednesday observing the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

Each year, the tradition calls for a moment of silence to start with the sounding of a ship's whistle. The quiet is then broken when military aircraft fly over the USS Arizona Memorial in missing-man formation.

The timing is carefully choreographed so that the moment of silence begins exactly at 7:55 a.m. — the moment Japanese planes began bombing the harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. On Wednesday, emcee Leslie Wilcox was still speaking at 7:55 a.m., even as the Hawaii Air National Guard's F-22's roared overhead on schedule 42 seconds later.

The moment of silence was held a few minutes late, just before 8 a.m.