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Remembering Dec. 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor Day to be observed in Seaside
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 29, 2017 10:02AM

Last changed on December 8, 2017 1:50PM

Spurgeon D. Keeth, Pearl Harbor Survivor, U.S. Army Company “B,” 35th Infantry, 25th Division Scofield Barracks, prepares to lay a remembrance wreath into the water during a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony in Seaside.

Danny Miller/EO MEDIA GROUP

Spurgeon D. Keeth, Pearl Harbor Survivor, U.S. Army Company “B,” 35th Infantry, 25th Division Scofield Barracks, prepares to lay a remembrance wreath into the water during a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony in Seaside.

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Bill Thomas, a Pearl Harbor survivor aboard the USS Medusa, salutes as Boy Scout Troop 642 lowers the flag to half-staff during the Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance ceremony. Thomas died in December 2016.

Joshua Bessex/EO MEDIA GROUP

Bill Thomas, a Pearl Harbor survivor aboard the USS Medusa, salutes as Boy Scout Troop 642 lowers the flag to half-staff during the Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance ceremony. Thomas died in December 2016.

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Color Guard from Camp Rilea prepare to present the colors during a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony in Seaside.

Danny Miller/EO MEDIA GROUP

Color Guard from Camp Rilea prepare to present the colors during a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony in Seaside.

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Pearl Harbor Day and those who lost their lives at the attack received recognition Monday night. The City Council unanimously endorsed a proclamation recalling Dec. 7, 1941, when more than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“On that day, life changed in America, and the course of history was altered,” reads the proclamation, delivered by Councilor Steve Wright and signed by Mayor Jay Barber.

The proclamation praises the reaction of Americans, who reacted to the attack with “firm determination to defeat tyranny and secure our nation.”

At the height of the conflict, the United States had ships on every continent. In all more than 16 million Americans wore a military uniform and came from all walks of life.

At home, “Millions more contributed to the war effort, laboring for victory in factories, on farms and across America,” reads the proclamation.

“That is a solemn day to remember for sure,” Barber said after its reading.


Deep roots


Seaside’s legacy of Pearl Harbor remembrance has deep roots.

Bill Thomas, a seaman on the USS Medusa, was “the impetus” for Seaside’s Pearl Harbor remembrance, former Mayor Don Larson said in 2015. In the 1970s, Thomas moved to Seaside where he rallied for veterans and proposed a Pearl Harbor memorial on the First Avenue Bridge.

Thomas died last December.

The county’s last remaining survivor, Spurgeon D. Keeth, is expected at the Dec. 7 event at the convention center. The memorial begins at 9 a.m. at the Seaside Convention Center lobby. The service will move outside to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, adjacent to the convention center, for a wreath-laying ceremony and a possible Coast Guard flyover at 9:55 a.m. The event is sponsored by Seaside American Legion Post 99. Refreshments will be served after the service.



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