The Pennsylvania Military Museum held its annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute on Monday in front of two of the guns once mounted to the USS Pennsylvania.
Monday marked the 74th anniversary of the surprise military strike on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The attack killed more than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors and injured an additional 1,000. The attack led the United States into World War II.
The USS Pennsylvania was in the harbor at the time of the attack and was one of the first ships to open retaliatory fire as enemy dive and torpedo bombers roared down from the sky. The USS Pennsylvania was badly damaged during the attack. “In 1916, when the ship was built, it was one of the most advanced in the world,” said Joe Horvath, Pennsylvania Military Museum educator.
“Everyone imagined the dates of such events would be eternally remembered. It was inconceivable that they might one day be forgotten. But with each passing year, fewer and fewer took the time to remember. As those who were alive at the moment passed on, the subsequent events stole the attention of those who remained,” said Jim Bloom, a retired U.S. Navy captain and spokesman for the tribute.
Bloom also told the small crowd, “Today the young and vital in our society are living with the memories of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Sandy Hook. We have new enemies and new causes to hold our attention. But that doesn’t diminish the importance, the shock and the profound effect that the attack on Pearl Harbor, 74 years ago, this hour, had on who we are, what we believe and the freedoms we enjoy.”
The tribute was attended by community members in addition to several distinguished guests, and veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars.