Virginia War Memorial and Navy League To Host Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony Wednesday, December 7 In Richmond, Public Invited To Remember Those Who Lost Their Lives During Surprise Attack That Resulted In United States Entering World War II in 1941
The Virginia War Memorial and the Navy League of the United States, Richmond Council, will co-host the 81st Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony at 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.
The annual ceremony will be held outdoors in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory – 20th Century at 621 South Belvidere Street. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
The keynote speaker will be Captain Gregory “Chaser” Keithley, United States Navy (Retired), the Executive Director of the Tailhook Association, an independent fraternal nonprofit organization. His last active duty assignment was serving as the N40 Force Readiness Officer for Commander Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet in San Diego, California. He also served as a technical advisor for the motion picture, Top Gun-Maverick.
The Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony will include the presentation of wreaths in memory of the Virginians who died on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 when the forces of Imperial Japan attacked U.S military bases in Hawaii, including the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans died and more than 1,100 were wounded during the surprise attack. Of those killed, 41 were listed as native Virginians.
“The name of each Virginian who perished on that fateful day will be read and remembered with the tolling of the ship’s bell from the guided missile cruiser USS Virginia (CGN-38), which was decommissioned in 1994,” said Patrick Harris, president of the Navy League’s Richmond Council, who will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the annual program. The bell is on permanent display at the Virginia War Memorial.
“We are pleased to continue the tradition of co-hosting the Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony with the Navy League here at the Virginia War Memorial,” said Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle. “We hope many of our fellow citizens will join us to honor and remember our fellow Virginians and all Americans who died during the surprise attack which led to the United States entering World War II.”
The Memorial will be open to the public from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on December 7. The Virginians at War documentary film Pearl Harbor will be shown all day in the Reynolds Theater and visitors can visit the Medal of Honor Gallery and also see the exhibit, “Who They Were: Lives Worth Knowing”, which includes a tribute to John Hildebrand, Jr., a Virginia sailor who lost his life during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.
For more information about the 81st Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony, please call the Virginia War Memorial at 804.786.2060 or visit www.vawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov . There is no admission charge to the Memorial or for this event. Parking is available at the Memorial and visitors should arrive by 10:45 a.m. to attend the ceremony.
About The Navy League of the United States
The Navy League of the United States (NLUS) was founded in 1902 with encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. The League has grown into the foremost citizen’s organization to serve and support America’s sea services: the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and flag Merchant Marine. For information on the Richmond Council of the NLUS, please call 804.355.7557 or go to www.navyleague-richmond.com.
About the Virginia War Memorial
The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms. Every day is truly Memorial Day at the Virginia War Memorial. The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military. It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220. For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov .
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans. Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. Two additional veterans care centers are scheduled to open in 2023. It also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.