Huntington community to honor Pearl Harbor anniversary

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The Huntington community will remember the lives lost during the Pearl Harbor attack this Saturday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Huntington Detachment 340 of the Marine Corps will present the 78th annual National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony in the lobby of the arena to pay homage to the thousands who lost their lives during the attack.

The importance of Pearl Harbor may be fresh in the minds of Americans with the recent news of Wednesday’s shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii, where authorities say a U.S. sailor killed two civilian workers and injured another before killing himself.

The shooting comes just days before people across the country plan to mark the 78th anniversary of the historic Japanese bombing at the same base.

In 1941, the tension between the United States and Japan had reached its peak as the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack impacted the United States military greatly, killing 2,403 individuals, permanently sinking two U.S. Navy battleships and destroying over 180 aircrafts.

“We must be the great arsenal of democracy,” former President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in a speech to the public after the attacks. “For us, this is an emergency as serious as war itself. We must apply ourselves to our task with the same resolution, the same sense of urgency, the same spirit of patriotism and sacrifice as we would show were we at war.”

The following day, the United States formally entered into World War II, which continued until September 1945.

Dec. 7 marks a significant period in history for Americans, as WWII also resulted in the death of more than 400,000 U.S. soldiers.

With the news of the recent shooting, the Pearl Harbor ceremony this Saturday is set to be filled with emotions about both the past and the present.

After completing the ceremony in the lobby of the arena, those in attendance will be invited to move the ceremony to the Harris Riverfront Park to lay biodegradable memorial wreaths in the Ohio River to honor those who died.

The American Legion Post 16 Honor Guard will fire a 21-gun salute and play “Taps” at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to come and pay respect to those who have lost their lives.

Blake Newhouse can be contacted at [email protected].