“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan … No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”
With these words, Franklin Roosevelt marked the entry of the United States into the greatest conflict in history and with confidence, also foretold its successful conclusion.
The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial marked the 75th anniversary of this most significant date with a candlelight ceremony near the future home of The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial. The program was conducted in the shadow of Embracing Peace, Seward Johnson’s massive 25′ portrayal of the famous kiss in Times Square that symbolized the end of the war.
Click on the image to the right, courtesy of Dan Lunga and Social Smarties Media, for a highlight reel of the event.
As the public arrived they were greeted by a moving medley of photographs of modern Pearl Harbor taken this year including survivor Herb Weatherwax, the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri where the Japanese formally surrendered. The slide show concluded with somber images of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as “The Punch Bowl.”
President Debi Hollis hosted the event. To begin, Vice President Russell Levine gave remarks on the significance of the day. Click here for a transcript.
WWII veteran Harold Lanning next sang the National Anthem. Guests were then shown the 10-minute documentary ATTACK: BATTLEFIELD OAHU that visitors see before their boat ride to pay respects at the USS Arizona Memorial (a short segment of this film appears at the bottom of the page you can reach by clicking here).
At this point, while candles were lit and WWII veteran Art Fishman led a procession to lay a wreath in memory of those who sacrificed so much on that fateful day. This was followed immediately by a 21-gun salute and taps courtesy of Berkley American Legion Post 374. The evening concluded with a moment of silence.
Click here for more pictures.
Click here to see the comprehensive media coverage of this event.
We thank our event sponsors:
Five Star: One Star: Enlisted:
Embracing Peace by Seward Johnson © 2004, 2005 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc. sewardjohnsonatelier.org,
Event photos by Debi Hollis, Donna Hollis and Jim House
Pearl Harbor and The National Cemetery of the Pacific photos by Russell Levine