Photo by Patrick Shelby
SALUTE BY GUNFIRE — Sunnyside High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadets (JROTC) render the 21-gun salute in tribute to those who lost their lives during two major attacks on American soil during the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day services program at the Jerry Taylor Veterans Plaza on Friday.
As of Wednesday, December 12, 2018
SUNNYSIDE American Legion Post No. 73 service members, along with community participants, solemnly honored those who perished on Dec. 7, 1941 during the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day program at the Jerry Taylor Veterans Plaza last Friday.
The weather was sobering cold with an overcast sky — like the distinguished grey color of the United States Naval Fleet, which fittingly provided the melancholy backdrop to the ceremony. The colors of the American flag rippled proudly in the seafaring wind.
Post No. 73 Commander Greg Schlieve welcomed everyone to the intimate tribute. He commemorated the spirit of this day with fateful detail as a day of infamy that occurred 77 years ago.
“At 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time, Japan attacked the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in the U.S. Territory of Hawaii,” Schlieve said. “90-minutes after the attack began, 2,403 Americans had been killed and another 1,178 were wounded... World War II had begun.”
Schlieve proceeded to acknowledge those who were killed while serving on the eight battleships that were either sunk or destroyed.
He recognized every warship by name and paused after each one for the maritime bell to be struck. The symbolic sound of reflectance from a 75mm recoilless rifle shell rang true.
Immediately following, Tim Bardell was called upon and picked up a wreath to lay at the base of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Wall.
As he rested the wreath underneath the phrase, “A day that will live in infamy,” and in between the words, will live, Bardell declared, “In remembrance of the 2,403 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, I lay this wreath.”
He stepped back and snapped off a sharp salute before he returned to his station.
The tribute also included a moment of reflection for the 2,977 victims lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 in the second of the two greatest attacks on American soil.
In similar military pageantry, Larry Oswalt carried out the wreath laying honor at the base of the 9/11 Remembrance Wall.
He rested the wreath underneath the phrase, “The day the world stood still.” In between the words, the world, Oswalt proclaimed, “In memory of our dead who perished on September 11, 2001, I place this symbol of our everlasting remembrance. May their sacrifices never be forgotten.”
He stepped back and launched an unyielding salute before he returned to his position.
“Both attacks brought our nation into war. Thus, we have come here today to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in World War II and in the global war on terrorism,” Schlieve announced.
The final display of reverence came from Sunnyside High School’s Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadets (JROTC) 21-gun salute.
From their infantry rifles, shiny brass shells exploded soundly in honor of those who have lost their lives during these two major attacks on American soil — Sunnyside Christian High School student Tyler Groeneweg played Taps on his trusted bugle while the unwavering banners of freedom that flew above the haze, grey and underway sky, gallantly shimmered with admiration of those fallen but not forgotten patriots.