pearl harbor

DAY THAT LIVES IN INFAMY: Roger H. Roe clears snow from the brick pathway Tuesday at the Howard County Veterans Memorial before the start of a ceremony to remember the 69th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. About 25 veterans gathered at Foster Park at 8 a.m., the exact time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Despite temperatures that dipped into the teens, local veterans gathered Tuesday to remember fallen comrades on the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

About 25 veterans gathered at Foster Park at 8 a.m., the exact time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, for a brief remembrance ceremony.

Shortly after 8 a.m. the sound of “Taps” echoed through the park as veterans stood silently, each lost in his own thoughts.

Jim Ault with VFW Post 8035 said those gathered were there to show appreciation for fellow servicemen.

“We’re here to pay our respects to our comrades who passed on Pearl Harbor day,” he said.

In prayer, Post 8035 Chaplain Earl Johannes said those gathering at the park were there to commemorate those who gave their lives.

“Let us always honor the memory of the brave men who sacrificed their lives so we may experience freedom,” he said.

Retired Army General Wayne Majors noted the ceremony was taking place beside the M4 Sherman Tank in the park.

“We sent guys to Germany in those things and they would shoot at a Tiger tank and the shells would bounce off,” he said. “A Tiger would fire at these things and blow them up. The amazing thing is how they got people to get in those things, knowing they had no ability to kill a German tank.”

Majors said remembering what happened at Pearl Harbor is important because if we don’t recall history, it is repeated.

“It’s important for the American people to realize how many people died so that we can have the freedom we have today,” he said. “In many cases, people have forgotten it because we don’t teach it anymore. We don’t spend the time in our education system to re-enforce these things for our children.”

Majors said organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion will continue these types of programs.

“The day these organizations pass, the program will pass,” he said.

At the Veterans Memorial at Darrough Chapel Park, veterans again gathered for a second ceremony complete with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” by Larry Boughton.

“We come this day to remember those who lost their lives and those that went through so much turmoil this day,” said Dennis Chapman, chaplain with the Howard County Vietnam Veterans. “Father, we thank you, Lord, for the strength that you gave us, for the power you put within our lives to overcome the obstacles that lay before them.”

Kenny Fisher with VFW Post 1152 said the veterans gathered to recall an event that changed the course of history and the destiny of civilization.

“Nearly 70 years ago, an attack on Pearl Harbor awoke the sleeping giant and with it, produced what has been called the greatest generation,” he said. “Although it was a day of great tragedy, it was a day to re-ignite our national pride and great national spirit.”

Fisher said although the Pearl Harbor attack is remembered, it is more important to remember the thousands of U.S. servicemen who died during the attack and in the subsequent years of World War II.

• Ken de la Bastide is the Kokomo Tribune enterprise editor. He can be reached at 765-454-8580 or via e-mail at ken.delabastide@

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