Solemn ceremony marks 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

A National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony was held on Dec. 7 at the veterans memorial monument on Georges Road in North Brunswick to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the attack in Hawaii. Special guests who attended included, from left, Jim Kletz, U.S. Navy veteran; Sebastian Rizzo of the Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society; Joseph Guchek, District 8 commander, VFW; and Bob Davis, councilperson and veteran.

The North Brunswick community gathered at the veterans memorial monument on Georges Road on Dec. 7 to commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The commemorative ceremony, organized through Wreaths Across America, began with a brief welcome by member Pete Clark, who recalled that the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, is “a date which will live in infamy.“

Mark Zielinski represented the North Brunswick Township School District with the Pledge of Allegiance, remarking that North Brunswick Township High School held a moment of silence to remember the 2,403 heroes who lost their lives that day.

U.S. Army Reserve veteran and Councilman Bob Davis read a proclamation from the mayor and Township Council that Dec. 7 be remembered by all North Brunswick residents with the phrase ”Remember Pearl Harbor,“ which was followed by introductions of special guests Jim Kletz of the U.S. Navy; Robert Porter of the Middlesex County Veterans Advisory Council; Joseph Guchek, District 8 commander of the VFW, Department of New Jersey; members of the North Brunswick Police Department who are veterans; and Sebastian Rizzo, member of the Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society, who read a letter from a 9-year-old at the time of the attack that described vivid memories of that day and how the country united to win the war.

Then, it was announced that the North Brunswick Historical Society created a Pearl Harbor Memories Project.

A wreath was placed in front of the monument surrounded by 80 American flags to commemorate the 80th anniversary, with a closing of the ringing of the Naval bell and “Taps” played by Frank Whaler, a World War II veteran.

After the ceremony, it was announced that artifacts are being collected by the North Brunswick Historical Society to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the program from the 2021 ceremony, that would be placed in a time capsule that will be buried outside the perimeter of the memorial to be opened on the 90th anniversary.

* This information was provided by Pete Clark.

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