Keeping memory alive

Published 6:28 am Tuesday, December 12, 2017

76 years ago this month, the Imperial Navy of Japan attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, taking out much of the American military’s Pacific Fleet and leading to the nation’s entry into World War II.

Few living today can recall hearing the news of the event. Those who were turning 18 and just entering adulthood are in their nineties today.

With memories of the attack fading and fewer World War II veterans living each year, Delores Sarpas, of Grayson, has wanted to be sure the sacrifice of those at Pearl Harbor and in all U.S. conflicts remains honored.

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Last year, for the milestone 75th anniversary of the attack, she organized a commemoration at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast.

The event drew cadets from West Carter High ROTC, the Marine Corps League from Greenup, as well as local veterans and members of the community.

Last week, Sarpas brought together those groups for a second observance of the anniversary, with last year’s keynote speaker, retired Col. Ralph Newman, returning.

This year, Newman introduced a special guest, Proctor R. Davis, 96, of Greenup County, who was serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in Pearl Harbor when the attack occurred.

He stood and was applauded  while Newman read a piece Davis had written about his memories of the surprise attack on the base.

We are glad Davis was able to receive this recognition and we applaud Sarpas for the initiative in organizing this event these last two years. All who took part are to be commended.

The sacrifice of the Greatest Generation in defeating the totalitarianism and fascism of the Axis Powers in World War II must never be forgotten.

The event in Kentucky last week will help to keep the memory of those heroes alive and we encourage all who can make it to turn out for next year’s observance.