‘A date which will live in infamy’: Virginia War Memorial holds annual Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Named by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy,” a Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony is held annually at the Virginia War Memorial.

A ceremony to mark the occasion is held at the Memorial each year on Dec. 7 — the anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on the United States at the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, which occurred on Dec. 7, 1941.

The bombing killed more than 2,300 U.S. troops. Nearly half — or 1,177 — were Marines and sailors serving on the USS Arizona, a battleship moored in the harbor. President Roosevelt declared war on Japan the next day, marking the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II.

This year’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony will take place in person from 11 a.m. to noon. During the program, the names of all Virginians who lost their lives in the attack will be read aloud. Retired U.S. Navy member, Captain Greg “Chaser” Keithly, Executive Director of the Tailhook Association, will be the Keynote Speaker at the event.

A wreath will be placed in memorial of the victims by The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Inc. representatives, Ellen Nau and Frank Bland. The Carina High School Junior ROTC will serve as this year’s Color Guard.

 The Virginians at War film, Pearl Harbor, will be shown continuously in Reynolds Theater.

After the ceremony, visitors are invited to view a temporary exhibit featuring the story of John Hildebrand Jr., a member onboard the USS California when it was attacked and sunk on Dec. 7, 1941. The exhibit is expected to be on display through the end of 2022.

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