The so-called "date that shall live in infamy," December 7, 1941, was remembered in a brief and solemn ceremony at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park on Monday afternoon.
A wreath was laid at the Pearl Harbor memorial located along Marine Drive, as speakers recalled the approximately two-hour attack which devastated the United States' military presence in Hawaii and drew the Americans into World War II.
"The Japanese managed to destroy nearly twenty navy vessels, and almost 200 airplanes. 2,403 American sailors and soldiers died in the attack that morning," said speaker Paul Marzello. "And 1,282 were wounded."
Colonel Pat Cunningham, who opened the ceremony, noted that many American families may soon be able to bury their loved ones, whose remains were combined in a mass grave of unknown dead for decades. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense announced that bodies of victims from the USS Oklahoma would be exhumed and, with the aid of modern technology, possibly identified.
"This day probably gets one page in a social studies class right now," Cunningham said. "We need to continue to take action so it's always in front of people."