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Seaside to remember Pearl Harbor on anniversary

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By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 27, 2018 11:35AM

Last changed on December 4, 2018 8:11PM

A granite plaque remembering Pearl Harbor on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.

Dale McDowell

A granite plaque remembering Pearl Harbor on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.

A bronze plaque remembering Pearl Harbor, placed on the bridge in 2000.

Dale McDowell

A bronze plaque remembering Pearl Harbor, placed on the bridge in 2000.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Thomas in 2013 saluted his comrades who were killed in the attack. Thomas died in 2016.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Thomas in 2013 saluted his comrades who were killed in the attack. Thomas died in 2016.

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SEASIDE — The city will honor American World War II veterans with a proclamation for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Public Works Director Dale McDowell read the proclamation before the City Council at their Nov. 26 meeting. He remembered those killed and wounded after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, marking the nation’s entry into the war on Dec. 7, 1941.

“Today we honor those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, and we pay special tribute to the veterans of World War II,” McDowell said. “Those heroes hold a cherished place in our history. Through their courage, sacrifice and selfless dedication, they saved our country and preserved freedom.”

The proclamation was unanimously endorsed by the City Council.

Seaside’s legacy of marking the Pearl Harbor attack has deep roots.

Bill Thomas, a seaman on the USS Medusa, was “the impetus” for the city’s Pearl Harbor remembrance, former Mayor Don Larson said in 2015.

Thomas, a Seaside High School graduate, joined the military at 17. The attack took place two months after his 20th birthday.

Later, Thomas returned to Seaside, where he rallied for veterans and proposed a Pearl Harbor memorial on the First Avenue Bridge over the Necanicum River.

Thomas died in 2016.

The county’s last remaining survivor, Spurgeon D. Keeth, was an honored guest at last year’s remembrance, shortly before his death on Dec. 28.

The proclamation comes with a freshening up of the city’s two plaques on the northwest end and center of the First Avenue Bridge.

The granite plaque in the center of the bridge was installed in 1991, McDowell said.

With the dedication of the bronze plaque at the bridge’s northwest corner on Dec. 7, 2000, the bridge was renamed the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.

Public works employee Matt Long refurbished the plaques by using a brass wire brush to remove the finish, McDowell said, using sandpaper to lightly sand the raised letters and numbers. Long then sprayed two coats of marine-grade clear sealer over the top.

A Pearl Harbor Day observance will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday in the main entry area of the Seaside Civic and Convention Center, with a wreath-laying ceremony at 9:55.

The event is sponsored by Seaside American Legion Post 99.





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