60°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Pahrump community remembers Pearl Harbor

President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as a “date which will live in infamy.”

As such, members of the Pahrump Marine Corps League Detachment 1199, area veterans and civilians paid their respects to those who lost their lives 77 years ago, with a special Pearl Harbor Day remembrance ceremony at the Pahrump Veterans Memorial section of Chief Tecopa Cemetery, on Friday, Dec. 7.

Air Force Lt. Col Dr. Tom Waters provided his personal thoughts on the day, which was the precursor of the United States entering into World War II.

Waters, the keynote speaker, also spoke about the historical background of the bombing raid.

“The surprise attack from the Japanese resulted in more than 2,000 deaths and 1,000 injured American servicemen and civilians,” he said.

“The Second World War, or World War II, was the deadliest war in history. It involved more than 30 countries that were either members of the Allied or Axis powers,” Waters said. “World War II started when Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland in 1939. The chief members of the Allied powers included Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the United States and China, while the Axis powers coalition was led by Germany, Italy and Japan.”

Waters also spoke about Hickam Air Force Base, just a short distance from Honolulu International Airport.

The base, he noted, still bears the scars of the attack.

“I spent a lot of time at Hickam Air Force Base and the shell marks on the buildings were never repaired, but only painted-over as a reminder of the attack. They lost a lot at Hickam Air Force Base, and to this day, they can still see the wounds of war at Hickam Air Force Base, by looking at the buildings.”

Though local resident Barbara Temple, a member of the Pahrump Marine Corps League was just a young girl at the time of the attack, she tearfully recalled the events of Dec. 7, 1941.

“I was 6 years old when Pearl Harbor occurred,” she said. “We were listening to the radio at the time. My grandfather was reading the comics to us kids, as we were listening to the radio. They cut in with a bulletin that said the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I had three uncles who served in World War II.

“Every single one of them were lost. At the time, we were living in Portland, Oregon. All of the liberty ships were built in the Portland area,” Temple said. “There were six Navy yards and my dad and my mom worked in the shipyards. It was a very rough time. I have vivid memories of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.”

Regarding last Friday’s observance, Temple said it was very touching.

“I am not a veteran but my husband Bruce, who is the Marine Corps League commandant is, and he also served in Korea. I thought today’s ceremony was beautiful. I could not help but cry every time I hear taps on the bugle, I just start tearing up.”

Chaplin Tom Gilbert of the local Disabled American Veterans organization, also attended the observance.

“Today’s ceremony was very well organized, but I was a little disappointed in the turnout,” he said. “I don’t know whether it was due to the weather or people couldn’t get away from work.”

Gilbert also noted that one of Nevada’s oldest World War II veterans, William “Bill” Daily, was in attendance.

“I think it’s very important that we take the time to remember all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” Gilbert said. “I was born in 1942, so it was less than a year after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.”

During the remembrance ceremony, which included a presentation of the colors, and additional rites, including three rifle volleys, and the ringing of what’s known as the “Freedom Bell,” retired Marine Corps veteran Jose Tellas performed a wreath-laying and dog tag placement formality.

Waters, meanwhile spoke of the number of popular motion pictures that were inspired by the attack on Pearl Harbor, including, “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998, and “Flags of Our Fathers” in 2006.

“I hope this ceremony has inspired each of you to remember Pearl Harbor and the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform,” Waters said in closing.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On twitter: @sharrispvt

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to state that William “Bill” Daily is one of Nevada’s oldest World War II veterans.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Pahrump Fairgrounds water applications protested by Great Basin Water Co.

For more than a decade and a half, the town of Pahrump has been working toward development of a huge patch of land with the ultimate goal of turning 427 acres of property into a major recreation facility, the Pahrump Fairgrounds.

Pahrump parcel fee hike overturned by Nye commissioners

Many Pahrump area property owners have been angry these past few weeks about a future hike in the per parcel fee assessed on their property taxes. And owners haven’t been shy about expressing their frustrations either.

Nevada 2020 Democratic caucus includes early voting option

The Nevada 2020 Democratic Caucus, the “First in the West” as it is proudly being hailed, is just over a month away, and the Nevada Democratic Party is preparing for the major undertaking that will help decide the Democratic presidential nomination.

Tourism Commission recommends candidates to lead agency

The Nevada Commission on Tourism has recommended two candidates from Northern Nevada to direct the agency that has been without a leader for more than two years.

Army veteran receives Silver Star medal – 50 years later

The forbidding jungle, hot and steamy on an early March day, shrouded the movement for the North Vietnamese Army as they infiltrated the border from Cambodia to South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

Nye County employee faces theft, embezzlement charges

A longtime employee in the Nye County Juvenile Probation Department is facing at least three theft-related felonies for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the department.

Former Pahrump Arts Council official arrested

The former president of the Pahrump Arts Council was arrested in early January on suspicion of embezzlement. Kristin Swan also was arrested on suspicion of obtaining money under false pretenses and theft, between $640 and $3,500, according to information from the the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Nevada redistricting group files amended petition

A group seeking to turn the once-a-decade process of redistricting political lines in Nevada over to a commission rather than the Legislature has refiled a petition with the secretary of state, after a judge ruled the original was misleading.

After roughly a century, bighorn sheep return to Pyramid Lake

Nevada state officials and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe worked to reintroduce desert bighorn sheep to the hills above the lake Monday, the first time since the early 1900s that they’ve been seen in the area 50 miles north of Reno.