Veterans and community members remembered Dec. 7 as a day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed as one that will live infamy.
The 74th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day took place Monday in Clovis at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. The district welcomed many family members, friends, community supporters, surviving veterans as well as active service members to gather and remember Pearl Harbor.
“It’s an honor to have the community here and an honor to have such distinguished members in our audience and on stage,” Rios said.
The event started off with a three minute video that showed an overview of the Pearl Harbor attack followed by the presentation of colors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
August Flach, commander, VFW, led the pledge of allegiance. Henry LeMay, Korean War veteran and purple heart recipient, performed the national anthem, Ken Bain, U.S. Navy, Korean War veteran, performed “Amazing Grace.” Guest speakers for the remembrance day included Clovis Mayor Nathan Magsig, and retired Lt. Cmdr. Gordon Pickett, U.S Navy.
Different veterans organizations gathered to support the event, including Veterans Administration Central California Health Care System and VFW District 9 and Auxiliary.
The purpose behind the event is to take a moment to remember Pearl Harbor and not forget what was so unique about it and at the same time honor those who gave their lives and those who survived, Rios said.
“I think one of the things that will be remembered most about Pearl Harbor is that it was a day this nation decided that it would be resolved and it would continue to fight for those principles which makes this country so great,” Magsig said.
The event took a moment of prayer for all the service men and women who died during the Pearl Harbor attack. Some 2,403 Americans were killed, 1,178 were wounded as 15 ships and 198 aircraft were destroyed during the attack, said Pickett.
Three Pearl Harbor survivors attended the remembrance day. They were acknowledged and presented with single white roses. Toward the end of the event, a bell-ringing ceremony took place along with the laying of a wreath.
“Our mission here at Clovis Veterans Memorial District is to provide a permanent living memorial honoring U.S military, provide facilities and support programs to promote a legacy of service for preserving our communities’ and country’s foundational ideals,” Pickett said.