Pearl Harbor Day Celebrated At the Newburgh Waterfront
Seventy-six years ago on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the US Naval Base in Hawaii.
The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that day as a “Day of Infamy.” Our US Navy lost several battleships and the combined military units including the US Army lost thousands of personnel killed or wounded and many aircraft. This was the start of the USA into the combat arenas of World War II.
For many years after this attack, veterans and current military take the time to honor the memory of those who perished on that fateful day. On the waterfront in Newburgh last Thursday a memorial was carried out by the Sons American Legion (S.A.L.) and includes the participation of several local veterans organizations and Blu Pointe Restaurant.
This year Chairman Christopher W. Eachus introduced the NFA JROTC Color Guard and the Catholic War Veterans Post #386 Color Guard as the presented the colors. S.A.L. Commander Bob McCormick led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the NFA Band, under the directorship of Mr. Chris Zoutis, playing the National Anthem. CWV Chaplain Deacon Thomas Neppl provided both the Invocation and Benediction.
NFA’s Madrigals entertained the audience with several songs. Guest Speakers were Senator William J. Larkin Jr. and Conrad Flickenschild. This year special remembrance was made for two area servicemen who were present during the bombing attack, John W. “Bucky” Sabo and Joseph “Joe Szeli. Both men are now deceased and family members were present to relate their stories.
One of the main features honoring the fallen servicemen and women is the tossing of wreaths and/or bouquets of flowers into the Hudson, which symbolizes the same activity performed in Hawaii. The Battleship “Arizona”, at its permanent resting place in the harbor where it was sunk contains the remains of hundreds of its crew who died during the attack.
The memorial ceremony by current veterans should serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices many young people made in order to protect the freedoms the United States currently enjoys. It is truly heartbreaking when American citizens are bewildered when asked what December 7th represents. God forbid the day comes when the freedoms veterans and service people promised to defend are gone! God bless the Veterans, Service People and the USA!
Story and Photos By James R. Formato and Bob McCormick
Service Summary by Bob McCormick
The Sons of the American Legion Squadron 1796 New Windsor hosted their annual Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony on the Hudson River front Chris Eachus Vice Commander of the squadron was master of ceremonies. The Catholic war Veterans and NFA JRROTC presented the colors. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. The guest speaker was Conrad Flickenschild. Chris acknowleged two area servicemen that died during Pearl Harbor John W.”bucky” Sabo-His sister Marion Macri talked about her brother and Joseph “joe”Szeli Esteban Speedling-Great Grandson spoke about Joe. Catholic War Veterans Rifle Squad then fired a salute then Taps was played by Lane Dingwell. The NFA
Madrigalls sang God Bless America. Every Veterans received a coin that the
Sons had made up for their service. *