WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It was 80 years ago Tuesday that Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Residents of West Haven wanted to make sure no one forgets what happened.
That is why a police and fire honor guard marched a giant U.S. flag to the war monuments at Bradley Point in West Haven. They did it because President Franklin D. Roosevelt was right in his famous speech — this is a date that still lives in infamy.
“It was on Dec. 7, 1941, that 2,403 Americans were killed, and 1,178 others were wounded in surprise military strikes,” Mayor Nancy Rossi (D-West Haven) said.
Eighteen of those killed were from Connecticut. They rang the fire bell for each of them as Florence Stoeber read their names, with this in mind:
“To be grateful for the sacrifices that they made and to always remember that they died making the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms that we have today,” Stoeber said.
Stoeber’s husband Jack was at Pearl Harbor that day and survived. He died a few years ago, but Stoeber said Jack always carried with him what he witnessed in the Pacific in the 1940s.
“The brave sacrifices that are made by our servicemen and women are above and beyond what the average person could possibly conceive,” Stoeber said.
She said there is still evil in the world today, just like there was back then. It can still attack us. The lesson, she says, is to be prepared.