The Pearl Harbor monument at Calverton National Cemetery, erected in memory of Americans killed and wounded in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo: Alek Lewis

Members of the Long Island veterans community held a memorial service remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor on its 80th anniversary today at Calverton National Cemetery.

At the Pearl Harbor monument at the cemetery this afternoon, about two dozen people watched as a 48-star U.S. flag was raised and then lowered to half-staff in memory of the more than 3,500 Americans killed or wounded in the early morning attack by the Japanese Empire on Dec. 7, 1941. The surprise attack came without a declaration of war.  

Jim Lynch, chaplain of the American Legion Pearl Harbor Memorial Post 1941 of Port Jefferson, recounted the events of the attack, which was, as President Franklin Roosevelt put it, “a date which will live in infamy.” 

“Today, help us to remember the heroes of Dec. 7, 1941, many of whom never lived beyond that day of infamy,” Lynch prayed. Help us remember those who were killed so suddenly that they had no chance to prove themselves. Help us remember the survivors and the family members who are dependent upon us to keep alive the memory of their fallen comrades.”

Roby Johnson, Commander of the Suffolk County American Legion, said that although the day’s events were horrific, it “galvanized this country to make us the great country that it is. We stood up against tyranny. And it started in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, but continued through World War II, where we fought against Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime.”

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Alek Lewis

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]