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