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Virginia War Memorial and Navy League To Present 77th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony  Saturday, December 8

The Virginia War Memorial and the Richmond Council, Navy League of the United States, will co-host the 77th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony, at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 8 at the Virginia War Memorial, 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond.  The one-hour annual ceremony will be held in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory.  The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

The 77th  Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony will include the laying of wreathes in memory of those 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.

“The names of each Virginian who perished on December 7 will be read by Chief Petty Officer Robin Beres (USN, Ret.).  As each name is read, the bell from the USS Virginia, which is on permanent display at the Virginia War Memorial, will be tolled,” said Milton Owen, Past President of the Navy League’s Richmond Council and Master of Ceremonies for the ceremony.  “The stirring hymn God Bless America will also be sung and there will be a rifle salute.”

More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 wounded during the surprise attack. The attack resulted in the United States declaring war on the Japanese Empire and entering World War II.

“It is important that we never forget our fellow Americans and Virginians who died that day,” said Steven J. Combs, Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), who will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony.  “We hold this annual service to honor their memory, and to honor all the brave men and women who rallied to the colors in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack.”

This year’s ceremony takes place on Saturday, December 8 instead of Friday, December 7, the actual anniversary date of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, because of limited weekday parking at the Virginia War Memorial, which is currently undergoing a major expansion project.  Parking will be available at the VHDA surface lot at 601 South Belvidere Street and at the Afton Chemical Corporation lot at Belvidere and Spring Streets.

For more information about the 77th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony, please call the Virginia War Memorial at 804.786.2060 or visit www.vawarmemorial.org/upcomingevents or www.dvs.virginia.gov .

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, support and stand with a services – U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-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, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. Situated on nearly five acres overlooking the James River at 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond, 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 served in our military. More at www.vawarmemorial.org

About VDVS

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) operates 31 benefit offices throughout the state that assist military veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitative care for veterans; and three cemeteries that provide an honored final resting place for veterans and their families.  DVS provides veterans and family members with direct linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs.  The Department also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s monument to honor the memory and sacrifice of Virginia’s men and women who served and fought to defend our way of life from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.