Area cities hold events to mark Day of In­famy

Veter­ans and dig­ni­taries mark ‘day of in­famy’

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jean Falbo-Sos­novich

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.

Jean Falbo-Sos­novich / For Hearst Connecticut Me­dia

Res­i­dents and dig­ni­taries mark the 77th an­niver­sary of Pearl Har­bor in An­so­nia on Fri­day.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Conn. Me­dia

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.

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