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US, Japanese cities mark WWII end with Pearl Harbor ceremony

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POSTED August 14, 2015 11:17 p.m.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Japanese and U.S. cities, together with the U.S. Navy, are holding a memorial service in Pearl Harbor to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Mayors and city council members from Honolulu and Nagaoka are coming together with the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander for Friday’s event.

They plan to lay wreaths and float lanterns. Fireworks resembling white chrysanthemum flowers will be launched at the end of the ceremony. White chrysanthemums are often presented at memorial services in Japan.

Nagaoka is the hometown of the late Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the U.S. into the war in 1941. It is one of Honolulu’s sister cities and is famous for fireworks. The city in Niigata prefecture was bombed by U.S. planes during the final stages of the war.

The war ended when Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, which was still Aug. 14 in Hawaii and other parts of the U.S.

On Saturday, Pearl Harbor will host a public display of Nagaoka’s fireworks to honor the war’s victims and celebrate 70 years of peace and friendship.

The Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor killed about 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Around the world, there were 15 million battle deaths and 45 million civilian deaths from the war, according to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

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