ST. GEORGE — To commemorate the valor and remember the losses at Pearl Harbor in 1941, American Legion Post 90 of St. George will host a ceremony Thursday at 10:48 a.m. at Tonaquint Cemetery.
The program will begin at the exact time of the attack by Japan 76 years earlier at 7:48 a.m. in the otherwise calm island paradise of Honolulu, Hawaii. That morning’s actions, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt characterized as “a date which will live in infamy,” plunged America into World War II.
“It is imperative for us to remember the events of Dec. 7, 1941,” said Marti Bigbie, commander of American Legion Post 90, “and how our response to the attack defined America and changed the course of world history. The resilience and valor of those who fought back at Pearl Harbor is a legacy that benefited the entire free world.”
The losses suffered at Pearl Harbor were catastrophic. There were 2,403 killed and 1,178 wounded, along with four American battleships sunk and nearly 350 aircraft damaged or destroyed.
Those who did not die were not merely veterans of battle. They were survivors who foreshadowed the grit and character that embodied U.S. service members of the “Greatest Generation.” Service and sacrifice were demonstrated over the next 44 months of war as the fate of the world hung in the balance.
Bravery was in abundance the morning of Dec. 7. Fifteen Medals of Honor were awarded, as well as 51 Navy crosses and 53 Silver Stars. The Americans managed to destroy 29 enemy aircraft, damage 29 others and sink or beach five minisubs.
“We will always be grateful for those heroes of 76 years ago,” Bigbie said. “So many of the Pearl Harbor survivors have passed away over the years. It is up to us to keep their legacy alive.”
The public is welcome and invited to this event. For more information on Post 90, visit its website.
- What: Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony.
- When: Thursday, Dec. 7, 10:48 a.m.
- Where: Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S. Dixie Drive, St. George.
- Resources: American Legion Post 90.