waving American flag

WHITLEY COUNTY -- In collaboration with the Charles Gatliff chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), The William Whitley chapter of the National Society of The Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) will host a commemoration of the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

"Since the beginning of each chapter in the 1960s, members have joined together for Veterans Day in November and Ring the Bells ceremony on July 4. We started commemorating Pearl Harbor Day about 10 years ago by conducting a wreath laying ceremony," said Carolyn Falin, regent of the William Whitley Chapter of the NSDAR.

According to Falin, the laying of the wreath is a national ceremony recognized by all NSDAR and SAR chapters across the nation.

"This year we are memorializing Whitley County's last Pearl Harbor survivor, Ed Moses that many people will remember as long time bailiff of Whitley County court."

The William Whitley Chapter of the NSDAR was established in 1965, and is an organization open to all women over the age of 18 who can prove lineage to a veteran or patriot of the American Revolutionary War.

"Our activities center around the national goals. We provide youth awards to four school districts for Good Citizenship, Outstanding American History students and JROTC Cadet medals," said Falin.

At approximately 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, a wave of Japanese fighter planes began bombing the United States' eight battleships stationed at Pearl Harbor. A second wave of Japanese fighter planes would attack just 45 minutes later.

The Japanese battle plan of sinking and damaging the U.S.' battleships was partially successful. They managed to sink six of the eight ships. Japanese fighter planes also targeted nearby Army airfields attacking Hickman Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, Ewa Field, Schoefield Barracks, and the Kaneohe Naval Air Station.

Over 2,000 U.S. servicemen lost their lives during the attack of Pearl Harbor, including Corbin's own Ulis Claude Steely. 1,143 servicemen were wounded that day. 68 civilians were killed, and 35 were wounded. Nearly 20 American naval vessels, and almost 300 aircraft were destroyed during the attack.

On the day following the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Dec. 7, 1941 would be "a date that will live infamy." The United States declared war on Japan on Dec. 8, and on Dec. 11, both Italy and Germany declared war on the United States. Thus, World War II had begun.

Scheduled to begin Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon, the commemoration will be held outside of the Whitley County Court House in Williamsburg. A wreath will be placed at the Veterans monument on the grounds of the court house. All veterans and community members are invited to attend.

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