PHOTOS: Pearl Harbor Day Observance

Northport American Legion Post 694 held an observance for the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks on Sunday featuring a church service, parade, and wreath laying ceremony.

The held it's annual Pearl Harbor Day Observance on an unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday with hundreds attending.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the attacks on the Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, led by the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII. More than 2,000 American citizens were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. The Americans also lost a large proportion of their battleships and nearly 200 aircraft.

Northport resident Frank Minnock, 91, was on a ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in Pearl Harbor and is one of the few survivors left. Though he did not speak at the ceremony on Sunday, he was given a place of honor and rode from St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Main Street to Village Park in a white convertible with other WWII and Korean War Veterans.

American Legion Post Commander Thomas Rocco hosted an interfaith memorial service at , sharing the pulpit with Reverend Kristina Hansen of St. Paul's, Reverend Peter Dooley of St. Philip Neri, Reverend Michael Bartolomeo of Trinity Episcopal, and Reverend Steve Bayne of Island Christian Church. "It is important that the young people remember that America is the greatest country in the world," said Rocco.

Following the service, American Legion members, Northport Fire Department members, veterans, naval sea cadets, members of Boy Scout Troop 41, politicians, and other dignitaries, marched down Main Street to for a wreath laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial.

American Legion Post 694 Past Commander Jim Mahoney hosted the wreath laying ceremony and prefaced the Pearl Harbor attacks as "the first act of terrorism on our soil." Mayor George Doll, an Army veteran, also spoke and said that it's important to remember what has happened in the past lest history repeat itself.

Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia delivered the main address. She recalled school air-raid drills and black window shades on homes as a child, then laughed as a car alarm went off in the distance. Though Raia was too young to remember the attacks, she said that their gravity hit her at the most unlikely of times--on vacation. On a vacation to Hawaii some years back, she visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial and stayed behind with a small group of tourists to drop broken leis into the abyss were service men remained entombed in sunken ships.

"As soon as I did that a wave of emotion came over me," she said, and spoke a piece for Lt. John Grubbs Little III, the Northport war hero who perished in the attacks so long ago and so far from home.

American Legion Commander Thomas Rocco and C.W.O. Stephen Pollock laid a wreath for the fallen at the WWII Memorial, stepping back with a solemn salute as Luke Laifney and Matthew Dannenberg of Northport High School played Taps on the trumpet. The Nothport Pipe and Drum Band and the Northport Tour Choir followed with poignant performances of "Amazing Grace" and "God Bless America," respectively.

Dropping his salute and addressing the crowd, P.C. Jim Mahoney took a pause and said, "Don't ever forget Pearl Harbor."

Do you know someone whose life was affected by the Pearl Harbor Attacks? Tell us in the comments section below.

Have a photo from the observance? Add your own by clicking on the photo gallery and pressing "upload photo." Be sure to tell us a little bit about the photo in the caption and title boxes.

If you missed the parade, you can watch it on video .

Walter Kaprielian December 08, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Nice job. I was seven years old and remember the day and the radio announcement that shocked us and our guests like it was yesterday. I am saddened that it is not recognized more than it is. As far as I am concerned, it should be recognized as a National Day of Remembrance, as should 9/11.Thank you.
John December 08, 2011 at 03:39 PM
"...Following the service, American Legion members, veterans, naval sea cadets, members of Boy Scout Troop 41, politicians, and other dignitaries, marched down Main Street..." Guess you just ran out of breath or were too fatigued to mention the members of Northport Fire Department that were also present for the service and march. What a shame, they probably would have liked to see that they were noticed.
Leah Bush December 08, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Hi John, I added the NFD to the article. I apologize.
Kimberly December 09, 2011 at 01:40 AM
It is a good thing the American Legion has the guts to have a church service. Hard to believe this war was a little over 70 years ago, but so many Americans have lost the guidance of Faith and forget Faith is what carried us through the war. Heck, many people do not even think this is anymore more than a video game like <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/battlefield-academy-reviewed">Battlefield Academy</a>
John December 09, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Thank you Leah.


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