KINGMAN – About two dozen patriots showed up at VFW Post 3516 on an appropriately cloudy and rainy Friday afternoon to pay tribute to the 2,403 people who lost their lives when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
VFW Post 3516 Commander John Trylch opened the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony with a personal tribute to this father, who was among Pearl Harbor survivors.
“Pearl Harbor Day is near and dear to my heart,” Trylch told the crowd. “My father was on the USS St. Louis, one of the few ships to get out of there.”
VFW members Dale Holste, Gary Wilson and Dave Gossage fired off blanks in a 21-gun salute using M1 Garand rifles, and Boy Scout Laine Barnes played “Taps” on an electronic bugle.
Barnes also made a box for the flag retirement for his Eagle Scout project. More than 40 flags were retired as part of the ceremony.
Trylch asked everyone to join in an emotional presentation of a burial flag to Gloria Miller, whose late husband, Jack Miller, served in Vietnam.
Derrick Betts brought his two children, Ronnie, 9, and Alexa, 5, to the Pearl Harbor Day ceremony. He’s a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. His father and grandfather also served in the military.
Asked what the day was all about, Ronnie said, “We’re remembering Pearl Harbor. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I don’t know why.”
He did know that one of the ships to go down was the USS Arizona, which has a memorial at Pearl Harbor.