Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration
With 2016 being the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and the United States’ official entry into World War Two, the various commemorations around the country are even more significant. I had the priviledge of attending the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration at the National World War 2 Memorial in Washington D.C. Present were seven Pearl Harbor survivors along with many more WW2 veterans. The keynote speaker was Senator John McCain, whose father and grandfather both served during WW2. The Invocation was given by Rev. Richard Young who is a Pearl Harbor survivor who became a minister after his military service. Navy Chaplain, Commander Michael Pumphrey, CHC, prayed the closing prayer with significant emphasis added through the accompaniment of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was also there, though wasn’t on the program.
Here are a few pictures from the ceremony, with videos of Rev. Young’s and Chaplain Pumphrey’s prayers:
The Master of Ceremonies was Mike Hydeck, WUSA9 CBS Morning Anchor.
At the podium is Gay Vietzke, NPS Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Seated to the left is Senator McCain, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Frederick Smith, founder and president of FedEx.
FDR’s great grandson, Elliott (Toby) Roosevelt III, read FDR’s statement to Congress on the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s message to the nation on the evening of the attack.
Senator John McCain was the Keynote speaker. Not only is McCain a Vietnam veteran and POW survivor but his father and grandfather both served during WW2 and both became flag officers.
On the other side of the fountain, the dignitaries and veterans in attendance place wreaths at the Freedom Wall.
Here are a few pictures of some of the people I met at the ceremony:
Dressed in period uniforms, volunteers of the Living History program at the WW2 Memorial escorted the WW2 veterans into the ceremony.
Me with Mike Hydeck, WUSA9 CBS Morning Anchor, who was the Master of Ceremonies. (Look at his white teeth. He evidently doesn’t drink the amount of coffee and Coke that I do!)
Me with Rev. Richard Young, Pearl Harbor Survivor who became a minister after the war. Rev. Young provided the Invocation for the ceremony.
Me with Lieutenant General Julius Wesley Becton Jr. (Ret.), a veteran of WW2, Korea and Vietnam.
Me with Navy Chaplain Pumphrey who prayed the closing prayer at the ceremony.
Me with Army Chaplain (COL) Austin, who wasn’t on the program but was in attendance at the ceremony.
I’ve really enjoyed being near Washington D.C. for a few months since in addition to all that I’ve been able to see, I’ve been able to attend events like this.