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Pearl Harbor
The Band Played On



The Band Played On

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.28

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    presentation, bomber, gunfire, fighter, aboard, attend, horizon, midway, daily, among, battle, however, duty, task, nation, particular
     content words:    USS Nevada, Star Spangled Banner, Pearl Harbor, Old Glory, Spangled Banner


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The Band Played On
By Erin Horner
  

1     As the sun illuminated the horizon on December 7, 1941, sailors aboard the USS Nevada assumed that they were about to greet a typical Sunday. Some planned to attend church services. Others waited for their shift to end so that they could enjoy a day at the beach with family and friends. Those on duty that morning prepared to tackle the daily tasks that must be accomplished on their watch.
 
2     One task, in particular, had to be completed each morning; the American flag had to be raised while the band played the national anthem. At 7:55 a.m., the first call for the morning colors went out. The twenty-three members of the band and color guard prepared to do their daily job. As the morning's ceremony began, those on deck heard the low roar of airplane engines. They assumed that the rumble was caused by an army pilot flying too close to the ship. At 8:00 a.m., the band began "The Star-Spangled Banner", and the flag was proudly raised above the ship. But this morning's ceremony was not like the previous ones. Midway through this morning's presentation, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. A fighter plane bombed the USS Nevada. Then, gunfire erupted from the back of a torpedo bomber. Bullets ripped through the recently raised flag and shredded Old Glory. The band, however, did not stop playing .....
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