Smyrna ceremony marks Pearl Harbor Day

 

SMYRNA — Dozens of veterans and patriots came together on a foggy Monday morning along the shore of Lake Como to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

For most Americans, that morning, a Sunday in 1941, began like any other. Then, at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time Japan launched an attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor with 353 fighter planes, bombers and torpedo planes.

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In a ceremony on Monday morning those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, were recognized with a wreath on the shore of Lake Como in Smyrna. (Delaware State News/Ashton Brown)

After 110 minutes, the attack ended. All eight U.S. battleships in the Hawaiian harbor were damaged — four sank — and destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft.

But the biggest damages came in the form of human life. A total of 2,403 Americans lost their lives that day and an additional 1,178 others were wounded.

“It’s most fitting that we honor our patriots on the 74th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a day that has lived in infamy,” Maj Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, said in his opening remarks. “It’s a significant day in our history and we are here to honor all those who have served.”

He, along with members of the Vietnam Veterans/Legacy Motorcycle Club, laid a red and black wreath next to Lake Como: Red to represent the bloodshed and black for the mourning and sorrow.

“From time to time, we forget the sacrifices our veterans make to serve and protect this country,” said Rep. Dave Wilson, R-Bridgeville. “Veterans are the leaders of their generations and the World War II veterans that are still living remain the leaders of theirs.”

After the U.S. entered World War II, more than 16 million Americans served in a military capacity during the war.

“Some people watch history unfold, but America’s veterans have made history and continue to make history,” Maj. Gen. Vavala said. “They helped firm the fabric of the nation when times were tough, desperate and deadly and they will continue to do that. They are the most important instrument in keeping our nation the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The wreath-laying ceremony was heavily attended by Vietnam veterans, a generation which has made it its mission to ensure no generation of veterans is forgotten by another.

“We thank Vietnam veterans one and all for their service,” said Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna. “By turning out today, they’ve proven to lived up to their motto that no veteran will ever be left behind again.”

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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