Bay Ridge remembers Pearl Harbor

BAY RIDGE — The Bay Ridge community gathered on Saturday, Dec. 7 for a memorial tribute to the brave veterans who sacrificed so much to defend our nation during World War II in honor of Pearl Harbor Day.

The Brooklyn Council of the Kings County Veterans of Foreign Wars held the remembrance ceremony in Bay Ridge on the American Veterans Memorial Pier (formerly called the 69th Street Ferry Pier) at 11 a.m.

The memorial — marking the 78th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on America’s Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — was organized by U.S. Navy veteran John Sanford, a past County and District Commander.

The salute was conducted by Brooklyn VFW County Commander Gary Wasserman, and included tossing a memorial wreath from the pier to represent the lives lost at Pearl Harbor.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Father Kane delivered the invocation.

A total of 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded in the attack which galvanized American support for entering WWII. Dec. 7 was called “A date which will live in infamy” by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Rev. Edward Kane, pastor of Holy Family Church of Canarsie, himself a veteran, delivered the invocation and spoke at the ceremony.

There were nearly a dozen veterans in attendance braving the cold temperatures. Other attendees included U.S. Navy veteran Jeffrey Swansen, operations director of the United War Council of New York.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
The wreath was tossed over the side of the pier during the ceremony.

Brooklyn County Auxiliary President Barbara Wasserman attended, along with members of the VFW Brooklyn County Auxiliary.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor has come to stand as a testament to future generations — that while our homeland may be attacked, our enemies will never defeat our republic or our way of life,” Wasserman told this paper. “We are celebrating the greatest generation so that they are never forgotten.”

The event was open to all veterans and the public.

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Jack Sanford and Gary Wasserman.
ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Veterans saluted during the ceremony.

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