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'A date which will live in infamy'



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December 08, 2010 - Long before the World Trade Center came crashing to the ground, the United States was the victim of another cowardly, surprise attack by a fanatical aggressor with no honor and a penchant for brutality.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing 2,345 military personnel and wounding 1,238. At least 57 civilians were killed and nearly as many were wounded.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a date which will live in infamy" as he declared war on Japan, bringing America into World War II. The sleeping giant was awake.

Sixty-nine years later, local veterans from Oxford and Orion gathered Tuesday night at American Legion Post 108 to pay homage to those brave servicemen and woman who lost their lives in that dastardly attack.

They posted the colors and saluted Old Glory, the symbol of what so many fought and died to protect. They lit candles to remember all the military personnel and civilians who were killed by Japanese planes and bombs.

Four WWII veterans – Leo Thomas (a survivor of the Bataan Death March), Ernie Baker, Walter Hyry and Joe Zikewich – told stories of their days in the service.

It's nice to know that seven decades later, the sacrifices of so many are not forgotten.

– Editor C.J. Carnacchio

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