OHIO VALLEY — Members of the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason and Smith-Capehart American Legion Post 140 of New Haven joined at the Mason levee Tuesday to remember those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago.
The surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 launched America’s involvement in World War II.
Each year, the two local veterans organizations join at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park to place a wreath into the Ohio River in remembrance of the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the attack. This year, the wreath was tossed into the river by V.F.W. Post Commander Ronie Wheeler.
The short, but solemn, service consisted of the wreath, a gun salute, the playing of “Taps,” and the following Pearl Harbor Day memorial prayer, led by V.F.W. Chaplain Kenneth White:
“Heavenly Father, we are gathered here to commemorate those among Thy servants who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Because of their dedication to duty we still enjoy the freedoms we inherited from our forefathers. Because they served well, we are proud to call them our own. We ask that, following in their footsteps, we may continue in Thy service until Thy summons comes. Then, in the knowledge that we have striven to observe Thy councils and precepts, may be worthy to be united with them and with Thee forever. Amen”
The United States Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Aug. 23, 1994, and it was noted the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died as a result of the attack in Hawaii.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.