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Orange County Commemorates Pearl Harbor Day Along the Hudson River

NEWBURGH – Eighty-one years after the Japanese tried to destroy the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, HI, veterans and family members gathered on Wednesday, December 7 on the Newburgh City waterfront to honor those fallen sailors and soldiers for their sacrifice on that fateful Sunday in 1941.

Members of Newburgh Free Academy’s Air Force JRROTC unit performed color guard duties at the commemoration while the school’s chorus and marching band also performed. The commemoration was also marked by the tossing of flowers and wreaths into the Hudson River to honor those who died on Dec. 7, 1941.

“It means a lot that people remember what happened on December 7, which brought us into World War II,” said Joe Pifer, a Navy veteran and commander of American Legion Post 1796 who helped organize Wednesday’s commemoration. “It means a lot to me that we have a lot of young people here from NFA to know what it’s all about because it really doesn’t get talked a lot about.”

Following the attack, America entered World War II and fought fronts in the Pacific Theater against the Japanese forces and in the European Theater against Nazi Germany.

The subsequent victories in both theaters less than four years later propelled this nation to the superpower status it enjoys and maintains to this day more than 77 years after the war’s end.

“It’s pretty important we remember the people we lost, the people that survived and what it meant for the history of the United States,” said Pifer. “It’s important we come down every year and recognize what happened on that day.”

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