Mayport remembers Pearl Harbor on 77th anniversary

Pearl Harbor Club holds ceremony to honor lives lost in the attack

MAYPORT, Fla. – Members of Fleet Reserve at Mayport Naval Station gathered to honor the brave men and women of the military who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago.

There were speeches that recalled the day when Japan bombed American warships and countless people died during the attack on Pearl Harbor which changed the course of World War II forever. 

Most of the military men and women who lived through the experience have since died, but their survivors and their families and friends joined together to watch videos of that day and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

"It's a solemn day, so it's bittersweet," said Chad Burg of Fleet Reserve Association Branch 290. "We always want to remember those who went before us and laid the foundation for younger guys like myself."

The last member of the Mayport Pearl Harbor Survivors Club, Robert Beaudreau, 98, died in September which made Friday's ceremony even more meaning.

"I just hope that our little footprint here in Jacksonville can continue his legacy and do his family proud because he was a great man, a great American and a great sailor,"  said Chad Burg, with the Fleet Reserve Association.

Beaudreau was aboard the USS West Virginia on Dec.7, 1941. The ship was hit by eight torpedoes from Japanese planes and sank. He had to crawl across the hawser line to get from the USS West Virginia to the USS Tennessee to survive.