Remembering Pearl Harbor

December 7, 2014, marked the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Since that day in 1941, the seventh of December has been dedicated to those who served and sacrificed their lives, and is now known as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

In the Savannah area, we recognize Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with a memorial service at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler. The Eighth Air Force was one of the greatest and largest fleets in World War II, and so the museum dedicated to it made the perfect venue for this important day.

The ceremony began with the reading of President Obama’s proclamation, acknowledging the national remembrance day. The Color Guard then posted the colors- or displayed the flags- as the audience sang the national anthem along with the Benedictine Cadet Chorus, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Other highlights included recognition of several World War II veterans who were in attendance, and speeches by Judy Weiher and Harold “Hap” Boyd: two Pearl Harbor survivors who were five and four years old at the time, respectively. They told onlookers about the horror and confusion of that day, and shared personal stories about their family members who were involved in the fight.

The guest speaker this year was Admiral Charles Richard, Commander of Submarine Group Ten. He spoke of the bravery and valor of the soldiers and civilians during the Pearl Harbor attack, and encouraged all to remember that day in a way that would prevent anything like it from happening again. He reminded us that, in the words of Mark Twain: “History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

After the speeches and a reading of the poem “Voice From the Arizona”, the verses of which take on the persona of the sunken battleship USS Arizona , the ceremony concluded with a twenty-one gun salute and performance of Taps performed by the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and the 3rd Infantry Division Band.

We want to recognize all of those veterans and servicemen and women who participated in today’s memorial, from World War II and every war since, and encourage all to take a moment to remember all those who lost their lives protecting America on that fateful day in 1941.