President Obama Pays Respects at Pearl Harbor

Dec 30, 2011 7:18am

The president and first lady laid a wreath of white, yellow and purple flowers at the Arizona Memorial Thursday, honoring the more than 2,400 Americans who died during the Japanese attack Dec. 7, 1941.

 The Obamas observed a moment of silence facing a wall inscribed with the names of those who perished, then dropped orchids in the water beneath the memorial at Pearl Harbor, where the sunken battleship still rests seven decades later.

Navy Adm. Robert Willard, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, brought the Obamas to the site aboard the admiral’s barge. This was Obama’s first visit to the site as president. He last visited in 2008, as then president-elect.

The president began the day at the Kaneohe Marine Base with a workout, before heading to the Pyramid Rock Beach on base with his family. The group later stopped at Island Snow for shave ice.

The president has been to the Kailua shop on every Christmas visit since his election. Photographs of him and his family enjoying the cool treats hang on the wall and customers can ask for his favorite flavor combo (cherry, lemon-line and guava orange) by name: “the Snowbama.”

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