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James: Disappointed in Pearl Harbor remembrance attendance


Dec. 7 was the 82nd anniversary of the horrific Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. armed forces, particularly the U.S. Navy fleet in Hawaii. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared it "a date which will live in infamy." Since then, we have heard many times that we shall never forget. 

Secretary of the Navy, Carlos DelToro, in prepared remark elsewhere said, “Today we honor the heroism of a great American generation that bravely faced a crippling attack at Pearl Harbor, for which many paid the ultimate price. With fewer left of that courageous generation, we must never forget the sacrifices made to protect the freedoms we have today.”

From the attendance at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemorative ceremony at our town’s Veterans Memorial, it appears that many did. I attended the 10 a.m. event and was surprised by the paucity of attendees. Less than 40 people were in the audience. Other than Gerry Friedel, not a single political “leader” was in attendance. No mayor or former mayor, no other Town Council member or former council member, no school board, state legislator or county official. Mainly veterans or those associated with veterans.

It being a cold winter day cannot be an excuse for not being in attendance to show respect and remember the attack on Pearl Harbor and those whose lives were sacrificed. It was a beautiful sunny day.

Does that mean that we Americans, or at least we Arizonans, have forgotten about the horrific attack that brought the U.S. into WWII? Does it mean that in the future we will also have forgotten the surprise attacks on 9/11? I hope not.

Next year on Saturday, Dec. 7, there will once again be a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at our beautiful Veterans Memorial. I hope to see more attendees then.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.