ROCHESTER, NY (WROC)– Saturday marks the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The surprise raid on the U.S. Navy base near Honolulu killed more than twenty-four hundred Americans and, thrust the United States into World War Two.

Congress designated December 7th as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” in August 1994.

Remembrance events were held all around the country, including right here in Rochester. One veteran says it’s our duty to remember the soldiers who gave their lives on this day 78 years ago.

“Today is one of the most striking events in our country’s history,” says World War II veteran Nick Verzella. “It is our duty to observe Pearl Harbor Day in the memory of those valiant sailors [and] soldiers who stood their ground in this unprovoked attack on the United States of America.”

Verzella says, sadly, today is often forgotten about.

“I’m sorry to say that when I read the paper this morning there was not one article about Remembrance Day,” says Verzella. “It’s important that the younger generation and that future generations know about what vets did for this country. If you don’t know that then you can’t appreciate what we have today and we have going for us in the future.”

This year, the annual commemoration ceremony marking the anniversary of the attack continued as planned.
Even though, just a few days ago a U.S. sailor killed two civilian workers and injured another before killing himself at the U.S. naval base.

The ceremony included the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band, a Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by U.S. Marine Corps and a vintage aircraft flyover.

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