Once again today, the American Airpower Museum hosted the annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony. We were honored to have 5 Pearl Harbor survivors in attendance. As part of the ceremony, 68 red roses, one for each year since the attack, plus one white rose to mark the September 11 attacks, were blessed with water taken from near the USS Arizona. The roses were then flown by pilots of the Skytypers team over NY harbor, where they were dropped near the Statue of Liberty at 12:55pm, the exact time of the start of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Col. Thomas Owens, commander of the 106th Air Rescue Wing, presents a copy of a Presidential Proclamation to survivor Gerard Barbosa.
Navy Honor Guard
The names of Pearl Harbor survivors who passed since the last ceremony were read, accompanied by the tolling of a bell.
Part of the large crowd in attendance.
Survivors salute the playing of Taps.
Survivors Richard Abeles, Gerard Barbosa and Seymour Blutt.
I've spoken with Mr. Blutt and his daughter at this ceremony for the past 4 years - she keeps promising to get me her e-mail address so I can send her some photos, and today I finally had her give me an address so I can send her a CD of all the ceremonies. In talking with them today, I found out that Mr. Blutt was a veteran of the Air Corps (that may be why I was drawn to him) and was stationed at Wheeler Field during the December 7th attack - he had a photo of himself taken next to a damaged building shortly after the attack. He is also 91 years old, and lives on his own in Manhattan. We should all be so lucky to end up like him!
It's always been a privilege to attend these ceremonies and meet these remarkable men - they were truly ordinary people forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances, and are true American heroes.