On Dec. 7 Mt. Diablo State Park will be hosting a beacon lighting for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The event will be virtual. For 45 minutes, three living survivors of the attack will share their experience and honor both the living and the dead who were in the harbor on that fateful day.
The attack on Pearl Harbor is an American tragedy. In a surprise attack, Japanese aircraft laid waste to the disoriented military and civilians. This strike would leave over 2,000 dead and many more injured.
Since 1944, Americans have celebrated Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day every Dec. 7 in honor of those who had been lost in the assault. Starting in 1964, Mt. Diablo State Park has lit Mt. Diablo’s beacon every Dec. 7 in observation of the day.
Though the tragedy may be far in the past, remembering these events still holds significance to many. Earl Kohler, one of the three surviving veterans attending the event, said the beacon light firing up is a “tribute to those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.”
The lighting honors not only the dead but also those who fought and survived as well.
Throughout the country, celebrations like the beacon lighting are hosted. These events are celebrated in memory of those who have been lost and in honor of those who continued to fight and live for our country. The events of that day may have been tragic, but the bravery in the face of danger shown by Americans that day is something to be celebrated. According to Robert Phelps, representing Cal State East Bay, “the sacrifices borne by the American people following that fateful morning some 79 years ago should give us all an enormous sense of pride, and most importantly, hope for the future”
Event sponsor Ted Clement said that remembering the events of that day “reminds us of the strength of our nation when we come together,” even in cases of great adversity. Because of the adversity America has been facing, he believes that “this year it (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day) is especially important.”
This year, because of the pandemic, the event will be hosted online with only a limited number of people at the actual beacon.
Weekly beacon lightings have been ongoing for some time in honor of the front line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in recognition of Pearl Harbor, the beacon has not been lit for the two weeks prior to Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. This has been done to “build anticipation” for the event, according to Save Mount Diablo.
The “Eye of Diablo” will light up its beacon for the veterans of Pearl Harbor. The event will let people witness the lighting, hear accounts of the events and honor the fallen in a socially distant setting. The event will be livestreamed on YouTube starting at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7.
Event will be livestreamed here
Learn More about the event’s history
Han Nelson is the A&E Editor of The Express. Follow him @SCP_TLDR.