LOGAN — On Friday, Dec. 7, the residents of Hocking County are invited to remember the tragic event that affected so many people 77 years ago in Pearl Harbor.
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is a day to reflect and mourn the brave men and women who died on Dec. 7, 1941 when the American Army and Navy base in Hawaii was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy, an attack that came as a complete surprise to the American Army and Navy.
The guest speaker for this year’s event will be Logan High School Cadet Core program instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Drue Schultz, retired military; and Scott Smith, of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, will be this year’s chaplain and offer the opening and closing prayers.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to be a show of strength that would force America to seek peace, but instead they faced the opposite reaction.
The attack on Pearl Harbor became known to Adolf Hitler, who said, “now we have won the war because we are joined by an ally who has never lost a war in 3,000 years of history.” On the other hand, Winston Churchill, when he heard about the attack and when he heard the words of President Roosevelt’s Day in Infamy speech said, “now we have won the war” and of course he was right.
The reaction of the people, far from being frightened in submission, was to rise up against the threat. The combined force of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard in 1942 was 3,950,000 soldiers. By the next year, the number had increased to 9,196,000, the following year 11,623,000, and by the end of the war in 1945 had reached a number of 12,209,000 troops.
Though the attack did not have the desired effect, either on the moral of the people or the resources that were kept on the base, Dec. 7 was still a day of irreplaceable losses. The United States Navy had 2,718 solders wounded or killed, the United States Army had 582, the Marines had 178, along with 103 civilians, for a total of 3,581 people wounded or killed at Pearl Harbor.
This year’s memorial ceremony will once again be held at the Falls Mill Bridge at 12 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Schultz will speak about the tragedy of that day, after which a memorial wreath will be lowered into the Hocking River.
The Hocking County Honor Guard will fire three volleys for those who fell that day, and the ceremony will close with the playing of “Echo Taps” by Logan High School students Megan Danison and Julia Lei.