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Mt. Pleasant tribute honors veterans

| Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
Veterans and their families attend the tribute ceremony in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday marking the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Veterans and their families attend the tribute ceremony in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday marking the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Despite the cold and snowy evening, about 100 people attended the tribute service in Mt. Pleasant to mark the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Organized by area veteran William Lozier, the event — a first of its kind in the area — was also a tribute to all veterans from all wars.

"It's great that we have this opportunity to honor our World War II veterans," Gulf War veteran Joe Bauer said. "I wasn't alive when Pearl Harbor occurred, but I remember hearing about the outrage of the American citizens when it happened. Young men and women came out in full force to defend our country. There has been no better generation of veterans, than the veterans of World War II."

The program featured a slide presentation, with narration, of the destruction from the attacks, battle images, time line that led up to the attack and the ensuing action afterward.

Lozier located a film that showed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the day following the attack and the speech he presented to Congress.

The final film, "Before You Go," was a touching tribute to veterans and thanked all those who fought.

"This was really nice and I'd like to see it expanded," Kathy Strang of East Huntingdon said of the program.

Strang attended the presentation with her husband, Tom Strang, a Vietnam veteran.

"This was very moving, very touching," she added.

Michelle Sechrist of Mt. Pleasant, attending with her family, found the program fascinating and informative.

"I loved this," Sechrist said. "My great uncle died on the beach at Normandy. He was my grandmother's baby brother, and I grew up hearing stories about him."

After the program, people stayed and enjoyed refreshments while many reminisced.

"I remember so much of what was talked about," Emma Long of Mt. Pleasant said. "I remember the rationing and I remember the stars in the windows. That was a different time then."

Lozier hopes to make the event an annual tribute, doing what he can to keep the memory of that day alive.

"In September, many cities and towns held services to remember 9/11," Lozier said. "The media called 9/11 the day that changed the country. This is the day (Dec. 7, 1941) that changed the world. After Pearl Harbor, nothing, absolutely nothing, was ever the same."

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