Thousands attend Pearl Harbor anniversary ceremony

A Navy sailor stands at parade rest on the USS Halsey, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Honolulu. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor initiating the War in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Thousands of people gathered at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday for a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the attack that plunged the United States into World War II and left more than 2,300 service people dead.

Under a clear blue sky, a few dozen attack survivors and others assembled on a pier overlooking the harbor. They bowed their heads and observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. — the same moment Japanese planes began their assault on Dec. 7, 1941.

The USS Halsey sounded its whistle to start the moment. F-22 fighter jets flying in formation overhead broke the silence afterward.

Earlier, Laura Stoller watched as crowds jostled for autographs and photo