PEARL HARBOR REMEMBERED
Ceremony honors those who died in attack that began America entry into World War II
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> A small group gathered Friday at the War Memorial in Congress Park to remember the 2,403 service members killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which triggered America’s entry into World War II.
The date – Dec. 7, 1941 – that President Franklin Roosevelt said “will live in infamy” affected the lives of every lives of every man, woman and child in the country.
Nearly, 1,200 service members were wounded during the surprise, early-Sunday morning attack that also claimed the lives of 68 civilians.
Members of Saratoga Springs chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, joined by Mayor Meg Kelly, placed a red, white and blue wreath at the War Memorial to mark the event’s 77th anniversary.
“As we take a moment of silence, remember the images, billowing clouds of smoke and crippled battleships sinking like mortally wounded dinosaurs,” said Heather Mabee, DAR regent. “Also, Pearl Harbor men and women surviving the smoke and flames and swarming like ants down the sides of ships to res- cue boats. Men surviving to fight again.”
She told about Captain Bennion on the Battleship West Virginia, ordering his men to abandon ship, but refusing to do so himself.
“He was alone when he died,” Mabee said.
The Japanese destroyed nearly 20 American ships and more than 188 airplanes. Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Har- bor occurred on the battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers.
“The American Navy and Army did fight back,” Mabee said. “Navy anti- aircraft shot down 28 Japanese planes and Army pursuit planes shot down over 20, which was about the half the number that hit Pearl Harbor.”
“According to the Navy, the Japanese didn’t realize how much damage they had done to Pearl Harbor,” she said. “If Japan had brought its fleet in behind the 105 planes,
it could have captured Hawaii.”
Mabee also told a number of little-known facts about the attack. They are:
• Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard USS Arizona.
• A crew member on the USS Utah had his daughter’s ashes in his locker to be scattered at sea.
• USS Arizona’s entire band was lost in the attack.
• Of the ships sunk or damage only the Arizona an Oklahoma were
unable to return to active duty. After repairs the modernization the West Virginia served in the Battles of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
• Fuel continues to leak from USS Arizona’s wreckage at the rate of nine quarts per day.
• Some former crewmembers have chosen USS Arizona as their final resting place.
• 350 airean were killed in their barracks at Hickman field.
• A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to a donation by Elvis Presley.
DAR Chaplain Kathleen Hurley closed the ceremony with a brief prayer: “Father, we thank Thee for the Pearl Harbor sol-
diers and sailors, whose service to country and heroic sacrifices aided and advanced the cause of independence. Help us recognize that fidelity and integrity must guard always the heritage bequeathed by those who had everything to lose.”
DAR members held a ceremony on Friday to remember the Dec. 7, 1941Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From left to right are Chaplain Kathleen Hurley, Secretary Diane Russell, Treasurer Tamaris Dolton, Regent Heather Mabee and Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly.
Daughters of the American Revolution held a wreath-laying ceremony Friday to remember those who perished during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
DAR Regent Heather Mabee places a wreath during ceremonies honoring those who perished during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
DAR Regent Heather Mabee reads an account of the lives lost and sacrifices made by American soldiers and sailors at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Mayor Meg Kelly joined DAR members during a wreathlaying ceremony at the War Memorial in Congress Park on Friday.