Loveland veterans and community members gather for 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack – Loveland Reporter-Herald
Nearly a century ago, Loveland resident and World War II veteran George Norton was on a ship near the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. On Tuesday night, nearly 80 years after he joined the Navy to fight in the war, he stood with his community to remember those who died in Hawaii in the attack that dragged America in the fray.
“It was really great to see these people come out,” he said with a big smile, looking around the crowd gathered in the cold at Dwayne Webster Veterans Park, named after a Loveland sailor who died during of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Loveland veterans and community members gathered on the chilly Tuesday evening for another year to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor; 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the attack.
This year’s commemoration brought back old traditions as well as new aspects of the celebration. In addition to the candles distributed to residents during the event, many of those gathered received a special button made by Loveland’s Veterans Memorial President Tony DuMosch.
Those gathered also heard from guest speakers such as local Loveland veteran historian and storyteller Brad Hoopes, and watched as the Flatirons Young Marines presented the colors to the crowd.
For those gathered, between veterans and young recruits, the event was one more year to honor those who had lost their lives and ensure that the day that lives in infamy will never be forgotten.
DuMosch said that, as in the past, it’s important to make sure this day is remembered so that those who died are never forgotten, especially as more veterans of the World War II die.
“Significance is the value of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “If we don’t remember these events…we are forced to repeat them and find ourselves in situations we don’t want to be in.”
Norton, who served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1973, shared a similar sentiment, noting the importance of remembering. Norton served for many years during the war on a ship carrying war cargo. He said that in May 1945 his ship shot down several Japanese bombers, one of which crashed into the side of the ship. The accident, he said, caused a fire which they had to put out.
“They filled it with water and battened down the hatches to get under way,” he said, recalling his time in the war.
Norton said events like the one held on Tuesday night in Loveland must happen every year, adding “we should never forget”. He was made even happier by the young residents who came to remember the attack and honor those who lost their lives.
But for others in the community, including young children interested in serving, the importance was to honor those around them and make sure they remember what happened even if it happened. is produced long before they are born.
Carson Boyd, a 10-year-old member of the Flatirons Young Marines, said his presence on Tuesday night was particularly important to him because he is named after his great-great-grandfather who was in the Navy when the attack took place. of Pearl Harbor.
“I think it’s very important because I have a very long line of veterans and I miss my grandfather who was in Pearl Harbor because I never got to meet him,” he said. declared.
“It’s very important for our younger generation to carry on our history and remember where we came from and understand what happened,” said Boyd’s mother and Young Marines volunteer Phylicia Guerrero.
One of Boyd’s Young Marine mates, 10-year-old Hudson Hamack, stood next to a half-raised American flag during part of the ceremony, holding a piece of the USS Arizona and standing beside of a replica of the sunken ship. .
“It’s really awesome,” said Hamack, who held the piece of history because he’s the youngest in the group. “It means a lot to me because it’s a huge piece of America’s history.”
Hoopes said Pearl Harbor was “like a huge rock that was thrown into a pond” that caused ripples emanating even 80 years later to the present day.
“We must never forget those millions of people who rode over the splashes and big ripples during the war,” he said.