Cer­e­mony hon­ors those who died in at­tack that be­gan Amer­ica en­try into World War II

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - [email protected]­i­tal­first­ Re­porter

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.

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