Area cities hold events to mark Day of Infamy
Veterans and dignitaries mark ‘day of infamy’
ANSONIA — “Never forget” were the words that cut through the sharp cold Friday during Ansonia’s ceremony marking the
77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Approximately 50 area veterans, local dignitaries including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, state Sen. George Logan, R-Ansonia, and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, and others gathered at Veterans Park to remember the “Day of Infamy” that forever changed history.
And history is something, according to the ceremony’s guest speaker, VFW Post 597 Comcowich-Carver Commander Patrick Freeman, a Vietnam veteran, that must be kept alive for generations to come.
“We need to continue to educate about our history, as history is becoming a dying art,” said Freeman. “If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.”
Freeman spoke of the brave men and women who joined the military in droves, and felt compelled to answer the call of duty, following the sneak attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor that claimed the lives of more than 2,400 soldiers on Dec. 7, 1941.
“In today’s world, we need more patriotism and unity in our country,” Freeman said. “We must stand together and not be a nation divided.”
Blumenthal came to thank those veterans in attendance. He expressed gratitude to Mayor David Cassetti and local veterans for holding the ceremony each year.
“Thank you for reminding us what it means to be an American. … Never forget,” said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal also said given the state of the world today, with terrorist attacks, both on land and
in cyberspace increasingly becoming the norm, he fears a Pearl Harbor “can happen again.” As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Blumenthal said he supports a strong national defense to ensure U.S. military power is “superior” to all others.
“We live in a dangerous world, and I worry every day about attacks on this nation,” Blumenthal added. “We are under siege as a nation, and we need to be more vigilant in our support for our national defense.”
Cassetti paid homage to the late President George H.W. Bush, who survived four hours at sea after being shot down by enemy fire in WWII, before being rescued.
“It’s those acts of heroics
“It’s those acts of heroics that bring us together as we reflect on this Day of Infamy.”
Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti
that bring us together as we reflect on this Day of Infamy,” said Cassetti. “And we call upon all citizens to pay homage to all those who perished.”
Former Aldermanic President Peter J. Danielczuk served as emcee for the ceremony, while the Rev. Russell Lesiw of Seymour Evangelical Baptist Church opened and closed the program in prayer. The firing squad from St. Peter & St. Paul Catholic War Veterans participated with a gun salute and Bernard Williamson, of American Legion Post 54, Derby, played taps.
Danielczuk thanked VFW Post 597 Quarter Master Kazimierz “Casey” Brejwo for organizing the annual ceremony, and leading all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Former Alderman and Navy Reserve Chief Petty Officer Patrick Henri said listening to Brejwo, with his Polish accent, lead the pledge, is one of his favorite moments in the ceremony.
“I like it when I hear someone speak who comes from another place, like Casey, and you know just how much they enjoy being here,” said Henri.
Residents and dignitaries mark the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Ansonia on Friday.
Lou Esposito, executive assistant to West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi, holds the microphone for 5-year-old Matthew McCann as he recites the Pledge of Allegiance.