Veterans Services Office Jim Clark provides thoughts on the attack.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One hundred and 10 minutes.
That was how long the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, lasted.
"In the time it would take to watch an average full-length movie at our local movie theater, over 350 Japanese aircraft traveling nearly 400 miles thundered over Hawaii dropping bombs in an unprovoked act of war against the United States. That attack claimed the lives of nearly 2,400 Americans, including two of Pittsfield's own. It nearly destroyed our Pacific fleet but it would not shake our resolve," said Veterans Services Office Jim Clark on Thursday morning as local veterans groups gathered at the War Memorial on South Street to recognize the anniversary of the attack.
During those 110 minutes, Roman Sadlowski and Edward Burns, both of Pittsfield, were killed while stationed at the naval base. As the battleships were sinking or severely damaged, across the nation people were preparing to enlist in the armed forces to defend the nation.
"We pay tribute to the souls lost 76 years ago. We salute those who responded with strength and courage in service of our nation," Clark said.
Now, three-quarters of a century years later, what is known as the Greatest Generation is not forgotten. Every year, no matter cold, snow, sleet, or sun, the Veterans Coalition gathers at the memorial to remember.
"Today with solemn gratitude we recall the sacrifices of all who served during World War II, especially those who gave their last full measure of devotion and the families they left behind," Clark said.
This year had warmer weather than most Pearl Harbor Remembrance days. The Rev. Michael Wood of St. Charles' Church gave the invocation and benediction. Tony Pastore sang the national anthem and Tom Landry read the famous address President Franklin Roosevelt delivered to Congress the day after the attacks.
George Moran read aloud the names of the 44 people from central Berkshire County who served at Pearl Harbor. The event also included taps and a volley.
pittsfield.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.