Remembering the Day of Infamy: Duluth Veterans Honor Pearl Harbor Fallen

DECC Holds Wreath laying ceremony commemorating 78 years since Pearl Harbor.

DULUTH, Minn.- December 7th, 1941. Proclaimed “a date which will live in infamy” by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The whole nation felt the shock of the surprise attack in Hawaii, and is still feeling the grief 78 years later as the day is commemorated across the country.

Beside Lake Superior, the late morning air is broken by the sound of gunshots, as the Color Guard fires.

Then the wreath is laid in the lake, a tribute floating on the water of Lake Superior, for the 2,403 Americans who lost their lives on the water of the Pacific Ocean decades ago.

“I served 23 years in the Navy and the Navy Reserves,” said Judge Dale Harris of Minnesota’s 6th Judicial District. “It is just a date that’s fixed in the history of the service.”

“It was not a great victory but the response that the Navy and the rest of the armed forces and the country as a whole gave is really what I think we need to remember and focus on.”

Two World War II veterans were present at the ceremony.

Though Bob Woods, whose uncle was at Pearl Harbor during the attack, remembers when there were more vets from that time.

“I remember when the room was full of World War II survivors. And they’re gone,” the Past Commander of VFW Post 137 said.

To Woods, this day isn’t only a chance to honor heroes of the past, but keep a watchful eye on the future.

“Forget your past, they will come back. And if we forget what people gave up, y’know, 78 years ago, they’ll turn around and come back to haunt us again.”

Those at the ceremony said there is one Pearl Harbor survivor left in Minnesota who lives on the Range and used to attend the ceremony every year.

But as he is now over 90 years old, he remembers his fallen brothers and sisters from home.

The ceremony is a tradition that has carried on for many years, and one that veterans hope will continue for many more, to honor those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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