SPRINGFIELD – December 7, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed today, December 7, 2009, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in honor and memory of the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In commemoration of the observance, Governor Quinn ordered all United States and Illinois flags be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset today.
“Today we come together to honor the brave men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion in the Pearl Harbor attack,” said Governor Quinn. “The servicemembers who fought tirelessly on December 7, 1941 are true patriots of democracy and freedom.”
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hall—Chapter #15, 25 Club Area (Lake Springfield), in Springfield. The ceremony honored all Pearl Harbor survivors and paid tribute to the more than 2,400 Americans who lost their lives. IDVA Director Dan Grant led the tribute, which included a special wreath-laying ceremony by Illinois Pearl Harbor survivors and their families.
“As a result of the unexpected and tragic event that occurred on Dec. 7, 1941, our nation was triggered to war and many brave Americans lost their lives,” said IDVA Director Dan Grant. “By paying tribute to them today, we remember that they did not die in vain, and our nation is stronger for their sacrifice.”
Director Grant was joined by Major General William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard; John Carrigan, board president of the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial; and Ken Ushman, commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15.
The text of the Governor’s proclamation follows:
||December 7, 1941 is one of the most memorable dates of the 20th century. On that day, Japanese bombers attacked unsuspecting American sailors and soldiers stationed at Pearl Harbor; and|
||more than 2,000 Americans were killed, including 50 servicemen from Illinois, and another 1,000 were wounded during the bombardment, which outraged Americans like few other events in our nation’s history; and|
||President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress promptly declared war against Japan and its allies, and our sailors and soldiers performed superbly on all fronts. Together, a Grand Coalition of French, English, Russian, and American servicemen conducted mass campaigns and operations in the Pacific, African, and European theaters; and|
||on May 7, 1945 Germany surrendered, which was soon followed by Japan’s surrender on August 14 of that same year; and|
||during the war, more American sailors and soldiers were mobilized than at any other time in our history. By war’s end, more than eight million Americans were serving in just the Army; and|
||thanks to the Grand Coalition, our servicemen, and all those at home who contributed to the war effort, the world was made safer for liberty and freedom, the right of all peoples everywhere, which the aggressions of Germany and Japan endangered; and|
||this year marks the 68th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the 64th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Although we can never repay all those who faithfully and honorably served during the war, we will always remember what they did and fought for:|
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2009 as PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY in Illinois, and order all State facilities to fly their flags at half-staff on from sunrise until sunset on this day in memory of all the heroes who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in tribute to all the men and women whose sacrifices made the world safer for liberty and freedom.