HUNTINGTON — This weekend, local veterans groups and others will remember Dec. 7, 1941, the fateful day when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, leading to the United States’ formal entry into World War II the next day.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, Huntington Detachment 340 of the Marine Corps League will present the 78th annual National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony in the lobby of the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.
Organizers say the ceremony will be a “brief but moving tribute” to all those affected by the events that transpired on Dec. 7, 1941.
Each year on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed and the additional 1,178 people who were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships — the USS Arizona and the USS Utah — and destroyed 188 aircraft.
On Aug. 23, 1994, Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
After the program in the lobby, the ceremony will be moved outdoors to Harris Riverfront Park.
There, representatives of various local veterans groups and other organizations in attendance will lay biodegradable memorial wreaths into the Ohio River to honor the lives lost at Pearl Harbor. Participants will be joined by a boat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard for safety.
American Legion Post 16 Honor Guard will fire a 21-gun salute and play “Taps” at the conclusion of the ceremony, which is free and open to the public.