background image

Remembering Pearl Harbor 76 Years Later

A couple of men work together to get the flag attached to the SRFD fire truck ladder when the ceremony began.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. More than 2,000 American lives were lost, four battleships sunk and 188 aircraft destroyed. Many American lives were forever changed on this day.

Seventy-six years later, a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day program was held at the west parking lot of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Two Waters Complex. The event was held to remember those who lost their lives and to honor those who served our country during World War II.

The event started with music by the Arizona Territorial Brass Band and a Bells and Whistle Ceremony roll call of the dignitaries. Soon after, a welcome was provided by emcee Urban Giff and posting of the colors by the JROTC.

Salt River Veterans Post 114 Commander Darrell Hills receives the folded flag from SRFD firefighter Ray Martinez.
“Today, we mark this day of remembrance for those who served and those who lost their lives in the attack. Let us hold these men and women in our hearts and deep appreciation for giving of themselves in service to make this country great,” said SRPMIC President Delbert W. Ray, Sr., in his presidential address. “Since 2007, [American Legion] Post 114 has kept that promise with the creation of the breathing of the flag ceremony that you just witnessed, a fine tribute to our soldiers. As a veteran, I am truly honored.”

Guest speaker and Community Manager Bryan Meyers said he was “honored and humbled to be asked to speak today, to help us all remember why we are here at this ceremony. Today it’s time to say thank you to those who have served and their families for their sacrifices endured while their loved ones served. Thank you to every man, woman and child who paid the price so we may still be here as at the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.”

A moment to remember was the airing of the flag, also known as the breathing ceremony. The flag was held by veterans and was faced in each cardinal direction, giving all of those in attendance a view of the beautiful red, white and blue.

Men and women from the SRPD and SRFD Honor Guard, and the SRHS JROTC stand at attention.
Ray and SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier also participated in the laying of the wreath ceremony. During this time, the band played music from each military branch.

In 2007, the survivors of Pearl Harbor voluntarily gave this flag to SRPMIC. Since then, this Remembrance Day program has been a tradition. SRPMIC has made it a tradition to bring the flag out every year on December 7.

“For many of our O’odham and Piipaash, we were ready to serve this country. The history of our people to assist the United States stems back to our earliest recollection in 1856, which is documented by our traditional calendar sticks. Many may not know that our O’odham and Piipaash come from a long history of being warriors,” said President Ray.

For more information about the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or for upcoming veterans events, call SRPMIC Director of Administration Glen Law at (480) 362-7495.

The Arizona Territorial Brass Band provided music throughout the event.