Day of Infamy Remembrance On December 7
By James Formato
Another somber veterans memorial event occurs on December 7th each year. It is very sad to note that today’s students aren’t being taught the sacrifices many military personnel made so that they could enjoy the freedoms they now have. To many this date is just another day in history, even though it was labeled A Day of Infamy by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Not many even know this was the official act by the Japanese in 1941 that resulted in the United States’ entry into World War II.
Pearl Harbor Day, as it is sometimes called is definitely remembered by the administration, faculty, staff and students at Marlboro High School in Marlboro, NY. Each year the invitation goes out to several veterans groups who gather with the students to pay tribute to the sailors, marines, army soldiers and army air corpsmen and civilians who were killed or wounded in this savage attack on an unprepared island in Hawaii.
For those who have no idea as to what took place, the surprise Japanese attack destroyed or damaged US Naval Battleships, aircraft and civilian hospitals. The loss of 2400 sailors, marines, army soldiers and army air corpsmen (pilots and ground crews) plus another 1000 wounded generated the angst that most of us felts on 911!
Each year Marlboro High School holds a tribute during a special assembly whereby the names of the US Navy Ships are read and a bell tolls for each in their memory. Also, each year, the Newburgh Free Academy Air Force JR ROTC Color Guard posted the Colors. Guest speakers provide insight into military life and their personal experiences. This year USAF Technical Sergeant Allan Drage spoke about his active duty status in the USAF. He followed James R. Formato, Catholic War Veterans of the USA, Inc. National Public Affairs Committee Chairman, who spoke directly to the students about what the young sailors might have felt during the attack. He stated many of these sailors were 17, 18 & 19 years old and suggested what they may have been discussing prior to being blown up or sunk, such as, plans to propose to their girl friends, Christmas furlough, going to Sunday Church services, or maybe expecting family members to come for a visit to Hawaii.
If everyone would take a few moments and think about what the military sacrifices for their right to be an American citizen, these patriotic remembrances would carry much more significance than a day off, a parade or another “special sale” opportunity. The veteran and active duty personnel know in their hearts these days are the days WE SHALL NEVER FORGET and they hope the future generations don’t ever forget either!
In recognition of his many years of support and dedication to this program Catholic War Veterans Joseph R. Farina Memorial Post #386 3rd Vice Commander Michael Lutz presented Norman Silversten Jr. with a certificate of appreciation. Also Tom Shroeder, Commander of the Marlboro American Legion presented Marlboro Assistant Principal Bruce Cortalano, Major, USAF retired, with a similar certificate. Marlboro High School Principal, Ryan Lawlor provided the closing remarks and thanked everyone who participated in this event.
Caption 1: (Above) Some of the CWV Post #386 members who were present for the Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony. (L to R) George Post, Mike Lutz and Ray Lopez.
Caption 2: CWV Post #386 3rd Vice Commander Mike Lutz presenting certificate to Norman Silversten Jr.
Caption 3: James R. Formato speaking to the students.
Caption 4: Newburgh Free Academy Air Force JR ROTC Color Guard posting the Colors.
Article & Photos 2, 3 & 4 by James R. Formato. Caption 1 provided by Marlboro HS