Grand Rapids ‘Remembers to Remember’ Pearl Harbor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - On December 7th, 77 years ago, the United States was thrust into World War II after Japan launched its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Friday ceremonies across the country were held to remember the lives of service men and women lost. Grand Rapids is no exception. Veterans and families gathered at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Chapel to pay their respects for service men and women lost.

The ceremony is one that Bill Campbell has been putting on for 29 years.

“There was a time when everybody remembered Pearl Harbor," Bill tells FOX 17. "Things start to fade away. Things are good, people are successful, they’re happy and safe, and so the remembering is not as crucial to them as it was.”

Bill’s right.  We lose survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II every year. Even digital calendars are starting to forget such an important sacrifice made by thousands that day.

Bill says, “There are many that don’t even mention it, so if a person doesn’t have a visual reminder of that, they don’t have anyone who was involved in World War I, or World War II, then it just doesn’t come up. It’s not a concern.”

The lack of remembrance of the surprise attack has veterans and family members changing their slogan. Now instead of saying “Remember Pearl Harbor,” they say “Remember to Remember.”

The daughter of a Pearl Harbor Veteran, Jill Racia, is one of the individuals fighting to keep the memory of the fallen alive.

Racia says, “They fought so hard, and it’s such a historical moment, and it effects the whole country, it effects everything. We can’t forget how hard they worked for us and what they gave up and how many lives were lost, it’s just so important.”

So on December 7th we gather, and we remember, because as a community we refuse to forget the 2,403 American lives lost 77 years ago.

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2 comments

  • Unslaved

    The attack at Pearl Harbor was known about and allowed to happen so the US would have to get involved in WWII. This is a well-documented fact.

    It was described by President Franklin D.Roosevelt as “a date that will live in infamy”, a day on which the slaughter of 2,400 US troops drew America into Second World War and changed the course of history.

    Now, on the 70th anniversary of Japan’s devastating bombardment of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, evidence has emerged showing that President Franklin D.Roosevelt was warned three days before the attack that the Japanese empire was eyeing up Hawaii with a view to “open conflict.”

    The information, contained in a declássified memorandum from the Office of Naval Intelligence, adds to proof that Washington dismissed red flags signalling that máss bloodshed was looming and war was imminent.

    “In anticipation of possible open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii,” stated the 26-page memo.

    Dated December 4, 1941, marked as confidential, and entitled “Japanese intelligence and propaganda in the United States,” it flagged up Japan’s surveillance of Hawaii under a section headlined “Methods of Operation and Points of Attack.”