Local veterans and their supporters are marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with remembrance services.
James Manley of American Legion Post 735 in West Seneca reminds us that the surprise attack that launched the United States into World War II killed 2,386 American service personnel and civilians. He says the last local survivor died about three years ago.
"The number of survivors is decreasing every year and, within a few number of years, we probably won't have any left to tell their story," he says. "So it's up to us and future generations to make sure that we keep their story alive and their sacrifices alive."
Nationwide, Manley says there are less than 400 Pearl Harbor survivors. He says it is important to remember for two reasons.
"Not only must we remember and honor our service men and women who fought so bravely, but it has to serve as a lesson that our country must be ever vigilant," he says. "There are forces around the world that seek to destroy America and our way of life, but we must always make sure we're prepared and remain strong to prevent our enemies from destroying our freedom."
The remembrance service at Post 375 begins at noon. The public is invited to attend.
The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park and Erie County Veteran Services are also holding an event commemorating the anniversary Wednesday at the Park. The event will honor the American service members who died and were wounded that day in Hawaii and begins at 10 a.m.