Local ceremonies and wreaths commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor

(Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — All U.S. and North Carolina flags at state facilities are lowered to half staff on Wednesday in observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

It’s been 81 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where more than 2,000 service members and civilians died on December 7, 1941.

“On this day, we honor the brave Americans who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. We’re grateful every day for the servicemembers who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms at home and abroad,” Gov. Cooper said.

In Wilmington, “Wreaths of Honor” will be displayed on the Battleship NC. Friends of the Battleship North Carolina will be placing nearly 200 wreaths on the lifelines of the Battleship for display during the holiday season.

The 20-inch evergreen wreaths were purchased for display by friends and family from around the Nation as a unique way of honoring the service of veterans and active-duty service members, including the more than 11,000 North Carolinians who were killed during World War II and the 8,000 Sailors and Marines who served aboard USS North Carolina from 1941 to 1947. The wreaths will remain on display through January 7.

Southeastern North Carolina’s annual commemoration ceremony of the attack on Pearl Harbor will take place at Wilmington’s Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center at Second and Orange Streets.

Army Brigadier General Robert S. Cooley, Jr., the keynote speaker, recently retired following 33 years of service. His last position was chief of staff for the U.S. Army Reserve.

The event, sponsored by the World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition, will begin at 1:25 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

This is the actual local time the first wave of Japanese aircraft attacked Navy and Army air force installations on Oahu, according to Coalition chairman Wilbur Jones. Except for the Covid year of 2020, the Coalition has organized these commemorations since 2000.

Mayor Bill Saffo will present remarks. Jones will show his PowerPoint presentation, “Wilmington’s Connection to the Attack on Pearl Harbor: Hawaii and the Wilmington Home Front, Dec. 7, 1941.” It remembers three Wilmington sailors who died in the attack on the battleships USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma, and destroyer USS Shaw.

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