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Legion, VFW mark 76th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

December 13, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, marked the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Pine Island American Legion Post 136 and Pine Island VFW Post 4653 observed the day with a ceremony "commemorating our comrades and honoring the survivors of the United States Armed Forces who have served, died and were wounded during one of the most disturbing times in our nations past, the attack on Pearl Harbor."

"This is a very important day for Americans to remember," Legion Commander Tom Lewis said. "We lost 2,400 sailors and soldiers in under two hours that morning, half of them on the Arizona, and another 1,000 were wounded. President Roosevelt called it 'a date that will live in infamy.'"

The ceremony began with the posting of the American Flag, Pledge of Allegiance and the opening prayer. VFW Commander Austin White opened the ceremony with remarks about Dec. 7, 1941.

Article Photos

The Color Guard fires 21 gun salute.


"Just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii," White said. "The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating. The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships and more than 300 airplanes."

On the day following the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech before Congress, calling Dec. 7, 1941, a "date which will live in infamy." The U.S. Congress declared war against Japan.

"Today, 76 years later, most of the witnesses are no longer with us but the legacy of the men and women who defended Pearl Harbor on 'the day of infamy' will always remain," White said. "It was a day that defined America and changed the world."

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute by the Color Guard and the playing of taps.



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