Generally Speaking: Veterans to mark 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

In commemoration of the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7, the Brooklyn Council of the Kings County VFW will be holding a memorial tribute at 11 a.m. on the American Veterans Memorial Pier (69th Street Pier) at the foot of Bay Ridge Avenue, to remember their fallen comrades from what many are calling America’s first 9/11.

It was back on December 7, 1941, when there was a horrific sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on America’s Pacific fleet based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as, “A date which will live in infamy,” A total of 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded.

The program will be conducted by VFW County Commander Gary Wasserman.  All veterans are encouraged to attend. The event is open to the public as well. We recall it was at the initiative of the late World War II Navy Veteran Howie Dunn that this pier was renamed the American Veterans Memorial Pier. Dunn participated in several annual remembrance ceremonies here.

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The Bay Ridge Historical Society recently held its annual election with current President Tom McCarthy unanimously winning a second term and former President Peter Scarpa gaining an addition term as the group’s treasurer.


New officers also unanimously elected are Henry Stewart as first vice president, Tom Hilton as second vice president and Pamela Combis as secretary. McCarthy is a past president of the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn, who just completed his 16th New York City Marathon. Stewart is a magazine editor and writes for the blog, “Hey Ridge,” often posting about Bay Ridge history. Hilton is a former school teacher, college instructor and well-known Internet photographer. Combis is a retired junior high school teacher.

Immediately following the election, the society had a power-point presentation by Jeffrey Richmond, the professional historian at Green-Wood Cemetery and the author of three books. His talk was on his latest tome, The Gallant Sims. The Brooklyn-born Civil War hero Captain Samuel Sims died in battle and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.

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The Bay Ridge Community Council held its annual presentation of awards for the hundreds of students who recently participated in the council’s annual Halloween poster contest and storefront window painting contest. Council President Ralph Succar emceed the event in the auditorium at Fort Hamilton High School. The program was coordinated by Council Director Maria Makrinos.

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