WHITMAN — On the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Whitman American Legion Post 22 and the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 22 gathered at the post on Legion Parkway for its annual salute to the lives lost on America’s “day of infamy.”
Evocative of the early Sunday morning (Pearl Harbor time) attack, color and honor guards saluted the flag, flown at half staff, before firing a ceremonial volley at 8 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7.
New Post Commander Robert Schirone thanked the representatives from the Whitman VFW, Legion, Sons of the Legion, the Sons Riders and Knights of Columbus. Town Administrator Frank Lynam and Selectman Dan Salvucci also attended.
Frank Mirano, 98, who joined the service a couple months after Pearl Harbor attack had been invited, but Schirone said it appeared the cold morning was not conducive to his being able to attend.
“Again, our nation has assembled to honor its heroic dead,” Schirone said in his prepared remarks. “Under the quiet sod or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies sleep in peace.”
Schirone said their souls march on in the destinies of veterans.
“Because of them, our lives are free,” Schirone said of those lost on Dec. 7, 1941. “Because of them, our nation lives. … They fought for us. For us, they fell now with one accord, and deepest reverence, we do them honor.”
After he spoke, the gathering observed 30 seconds of silence and a prayer was offered for the repose of those lost — as well as the honorable way survivors continued on with their lives — before the Whitman VFW honor guard fired the ceremonial salute from three rifles, after which a recording of “Taps” was played.
The brief ceremony was followed by a breakfast collation in the post.