NATIONAL PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY, 2015
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Nearly seven and a half decades ago, as dawn broke over the island of Oahu, bombs broke through the sky as Japanese forces launched an unprovoked attack on our Nation -- absorbing America into a conflict that would change the course of human dignity and freedom. More than 2,400 precious lives and much of our Pacific Fleet were lost, yet the ensuing unification of our people proved mightier than the attack that aimed to weaken us. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to the men, women, and children -- military and civilian -- who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, honor all who served in the wake of that infamous day, and recognize the sacrifices today's service members make to carry forward the inextinguishable torch of liberty for generations to come.
Reacting to the surprise attack, patriots from every corner of our country answered the call to serve and banded together in common cause. Sixteen million Americans left behind everything they knew and everyone they loved to fight for freedom far from home and liberate a continent from the grip of tyranny. Courageous individuals from all walks of life crossed oceans and stormed beaches, uplifting a generation and paving the way for our fiercest adversaries to become some of our closest allies. In the example of those who came forth in the months and years following the attack on Pearl Harbor, we see an enduring truth: that no challenge is too great when we stand as one people committed to the ideals which the stars and stripes symbolize.
Seventy-four years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we endure as a Nation dedicated to affirming the inherent dignity of every person -- even in the face of unspeakable violence. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the day after the attack, "the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory." On this day, let us honor the memory of all who gave their lives so that President Roosevelt's words could be realized, and let us resolve to uphold the legacy of our country, for which generations of brave men and women have fought and sacrificed.
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, 2015, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
USS California sinking in Pearl Harbor
Major Erin Rodriguez has been in the Army for over 10 years and was in charge of the busiest Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic in the entire military. She moved to Texas recently. We asked her what people will be doing to mark Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in 2015 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 good 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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