Lincoln hosts Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The City of Lincoln remembered the attack on Pearl Harbor 81 years ago with a ceremony on Wednesday.

The Veterans Memorial Garden Advisory Council invited community members to Antelope Park’s Auld Pavillion to honor the lives lost during the attack. 

The ceremony featured speakers Bill and Bob Dietrich, sons of Sgt. William H. Dietrich, who served on the USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor.

The brothers said their father served for eight years, eight months, and six days, and afterward became active in the community, working at the VFW lodge in Grand Island.

In 1994, his name was put onto the Pearl Harbor monument in the Veterans Memorial Garden.

“One of the things he really got to enjoy doing was going around the junior high and the high schools in the Grand Island area and talking to them about Pearl Harbor and about the importance of being Patriotic,” Bill said. “It just, truly, he felt like it made his time worthwhile to go around and speak to them.”

Bill said he and his brother went to Pearl Harbor last year for the 80th anniversary and spoke to about 200 World War II veterans, 34 of whom were Pearl Harbor survivors.

The brothers said it’s important to honor those who serve in the military and keep them in our memory.

“It’s important to remember our veterans, of course all those who were killed or died, not only in that attack, but all of World War II and the following wars after that,” Bob said.

The brothers said they’re looking forward to coming back for this event next year.

The only copy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech after the attack was on display.

FDR famously gave the speech to Congress the day after the Dec. 7 attack, declaring the date would live in infamy.

The event included music from the Nebraska Christian Men’s Chorus, as well as Amanda Barker, who played taps.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts released the following statement to commemorate the anniversary:

“81 years ago, Americans united in response to imperial Japan’s surprise attack at our naval station in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Motivated by the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans of all backgrounds came together to defend our homeland and the freedoms we hold dear.  Those who died serving our country on December 7th, 1941, will never be forgotten.”

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