National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes thundered over Hawaii, dropping bombs in an unprovoked act of war against the United States.The attack claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Americans.It nearly destroyed our Pacific Fleet, but it could not shake our resolve.While battleships smoldered in the harbor, patriots from across our country enlisted in our Armed Forces, volunteering to take up the fight for freedom and security for which their brothers and sisters made the ultimate sacrifice.On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to the souls lost 73 years ago, we salute those who responded with strength and courage in service of our Nation, and we renew our dedication to the ideals for which they so valiantly fought.
In the face of great tragedy at Pearl Harbor -- our first battle of the Second World War -- our Union rallied together, driven by the resilient and unyielding American spirit that defines us.The millions of Americans who signed up and shipped out inspired our Nation and put us on the path to victory in the fight against injustice and oppression around the globe.As they stormed the beaches of Normandy and planted our flag in the sands of Iwo Jima, our brave service members rolled back the tide of tyranny in Europe and throughout the Pacific theater.Because of their actions, nations that once knew only the blinders of fear saw the dawn of liberty.
The men and women of the Greatest Generation went to war and braved hardships to make the world safer, freer, and more just.As we reflect on the lives lost at Pearl Harbor, we remember why America gave so much for the survival of liberty in the war that followed that infamous day.Today, with solemn gratitude, we recall the sacrifice of all who served during World War II, especially those who gave their last full measure of devotion and the families they left behind.As proud heirs to the freedom and progress secured by those who came before us, we pledge to uphold their legacy and honor their memory.
The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2014, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.I encourage all
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Major Erin Rodriguez has been in the Army for over 10 years and is in charge of the busiest Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic in the entire military. She currently resides in Hawaii and will attend many of the events that are planned every year to honor those who were involved in this painful event 73 years ago. We asked her what people will be doing to mark this anniversary and Erin was kind enough to explain for those of us that will not be there:
They do many events to honor the memory of all people that were involved including: a "Pop's" band that will play music from the 1940's, a sunset ceremony on Dec. 6th, an annual fundraiser for the Pacific Aviation Museum. For the main event: the Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration Ceremony where they will interview survivors, a ceremony in our home town, Hickam, to honor the people that were killed here, and a really cool annual tradition where they have a Japanese representative come aboard the USS Arizona to say a silent prayer and pour bourbon whiskey from a blackened canteen into the water as a peace offering to the spirits of the fallen.
To tour the memorials is really somber, honestly. It is remarkable how close to shore the Arizona really was when it was split in two and sunk. You can look over the edge of the memorial into the water and see the ship a few feet below. It is still billowing oil out so there is an iridescent hue covering the water.
The final event is a Memorial Day parade where they travel all through Waikiki and surrounding areas with survivors, military officials, and marching bands from all over the Hawaiian Islands and the Mainland US."
- Major Erin Rodriguez
We would like to thank Erin for her service and also for that in depth look at the memorial events that will be going on in Pearl Harbor and the surrounding areas.
I sincerely hope that during this time of remembrance you will take a few minutes to review the history of Pearl Harbor and the events of World War II. Share this information with your children and other young people. It's also a wonderful time to make a special effort and thank a World War II veteran for their gallant effort. A perfect time to take a World War II veteran out to lunch. Such a small effort means so much to these heroes.
Thomas J D'Amico
American Flags Express Inc.
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