Dec. 7 marks the 79th anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese bombers, in a sneak attack over Hawaii, struck the U.S. Navy fleet based at Pearl Harbor. Four battleships were sunk and four others sustained extensive damage. Other Navy vessels sunk or damaged were cruisers and destroyers. This horrific event plunged our nation into World War II.
More than 2,335 members of the armed forces, mostly sailors, and 68 civilians were killed and nearly 2,000 were wounded, making that horrendous day as one of the deadliest in American history.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as “a date which will live in infamy.” In a recent presidential proclamation, President Donald Trump stated, “The course of our nation’s history was forever altered by the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we solemnly remember the tragic events of that morning and honor those who perished in defense of our nation that day and in the ensuing four years of war.”
Among the commemorative programs, there will be a remembrance ceremony on the American Veterans Memorial Pier (69th Street Pier) at the foot of Bay Ridge Avenue and Shore Road at 11 a.m., conducted by the Brooklyn Council of the Kings County Veterans of Foreign Wars. Former County and District One VFW Commander Jack Sanford, a U.S. Navy veteran, will host the proceedings. Veterans from all services are encouraged to attend and the event is open to the public.
It was at the initiative of the late World War II Navy veteran and Bay Ridge resident Howie Dunn that this pier was renamed the American Veterans Memorial Pier. Dunn participated in several annual remembrance ceremonies here.