Pearl Harbor Day ceremony
The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 46 will host a ceremony to honor World War II service members at 10 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall at 1121 W. Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville.
To attend the event, call 368-2546.
Seventy years ago today, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended upon Pearl Harbor, the American naval base not far from Honolulu, Hawaii — an attack that altered the face of history.
“It is very important. The bombing at Pearl Harbor and those men and woman that died in Hawaii — they never even saw it coming. To my knowledge, there was no warning,” Disabled American Veterans Post 46 Commander Walter Helmick said.
“What we have read in history, on one part, the U.S. really didn’t want to get involved in it, and then, I guess, basically, somebody wanted us involved,” he said. “They woke up a sleeping giant.”
During the two-hour strike, the Japanese claimed the lives of more than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors and wounded 1,000 more, according to Naval History & Heritage Command online.
The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave an address before Congress, where he deemed Dec. 7, 1941, as a “day that shall live in infamy” and asked for a declaration of war against Japan.
Congress declared war indeed, and within days, Germany and Italy had declared war on the United States.
On Saturday, the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 46 will hold a Pearl Harbor Day ceremony to commemorate the fallen soldiers and the subsequent war waged in their honor.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Hinesville American Legion Hall, and it will last about two hours, Helmick said.
“It’s our way of paying tribute to the World War II veterans that are alive as well as deceased, and it’s our way of saying ‘Thank you for what you have done for us and paving the way for all of us to follow,’” he said.
Helmick currently is in the process of inviting WWII veterans to attend.
While Fort Stewart will not hold any commemorative events on post, the 3rd Infantry Division Band will play at the event, and 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Lt. Col. Gregory Bell will speak, according to public affairs officer Kevin Larson.
The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be available after the ceremony, Helmick said.